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15 January 2020updated 31 Jan 2020 1:05pm

Walpurgis

A new poem by Fiona Sampson.

By Fiona Sampson

This after sunset summer
light is the closest
we can come
to the strangeness of a white
night its borrowed time

in which trees stand
motionless they
go blind without the sun
and on the hill a deer
coughs again                                                                                              

exploratory
in the June night as bats                       
veer between power lines
while someone’s radio
far downstream

might be illusion
as if sound misplaced
itself when everything
fell out of step                                                           
in the incomprehensible                     

bright dark and out
of the woods the festive
children could
come jiving and drumming
dressed for carnival

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Fiona Sampson’s most recent book is In Search of Mary Shelley (Profile). Her eighth poetry collection, Come Down, will be published by Corsair in February.

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This article appears in the 15 Jan 2020 issue of the New Statesman, Why the left keeps losing