The NS Poem: Heine’s raspberry drops

A new poem by Craig Raine.

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Lot One:

blossom bursting like popcorn,

a chain reaction.


This magnolia, 

a bright hosanna 

in the sunlit bay


between two buttresses,

borne up in excelsis,

as breeze buoys a dress.


The dog eating a bone

with ill-fitting dentures (listen).

Aran cauliflower knitting.


Lizards are linen.

There is a bobbin

in every Cox’s pippin.


In Moscow, I saw

dead electric razors

in a shop window, 


piled like a sample

of deep damp

Aldeburgh shingle. 


Everything must go.

Everything you know.

Everything you’ll never know.



Craig Raine is a poet, novelist and critic, and was the editor of Areté.

[See also: The NS Poem: from uncivil]

This article appears in the 12 May 2021 issue of the New Statesman, Without total change Labour will die

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