Close
Close

Sarah Maguire

Sarah Maguire is the only living English-language poet with a book in print in Arabic - her selected poems, Haleeb Muraq, translated by Saadi Yousef.

Two Poems

Sarah Maguire, 10 July 2003

For Kathleen Jamie

Waist-height, clouds of white lace in the abandoned graveyard,

the delicate, filigree umbels matching

the thumbprints of lichen embroidering the graves. A deep current of blue

surges below – bluebells, moments of sky

fallen, brief weather fixed on wet stems,

conjuring a climate gone from this chill April dusk, as rain comes, and light fades.

Field Capacity

The plump...

Poem: ‘Ramallah’

Sarah Maguire, 23 August 2001

Freezing out of season     with Eid after Easter – a provisional city    a concatenation of loose roundabouts     building sites   and razor wire – scars of forced demolitions    spite     occupation and new wealth Little Bantustan       rimmed twice...

Two Poems

Sarah Maguire, 30 March 2000

Hibiscus

I have no idea what is coming      as I take the hand of a perfect stranger            as I’m taken through the streets of Marrakech.

The exhilaration of trust.       The exhilaration of risk,             of...

Two Poems

Sarah Maguire, 20 February 1997

The Mist Bench

Even at night, at random a click – and mist fumes

from the watch towers clouding the cuttings with fog

Bare leaves are downy turn blurred and glaucous

as the fine fur plumps and sleeves itself with water

Ten beats and it’s finished The electric leaf

buried in the leaves is parched and replenished

all night

Year-Round Chrysanthemums

In mid-July they think it is...

Poem: ‘May Day, 1986’

Sarah Maguire, 3 July 1986

for Tadeusz Slawek

Yesterday, the weather in Warsaw was the same as London’s: ‘Sunny; 18°’ (sixty-four Fahrenheit). I am sitting in a walled garden drinking gin, the fading sky as blue as this tonic water loosening its bubbles against the flat ice.

What is in the air? The first midges; a television three doors down, its hum like this lone bat avoiding the walnut tree. A...

Poem: ‘Spilt Milk’

Sarah Maguire, 21 November 1985

Two soluble aspirins spore in this glass, their mycelia fruiting the water, which I twist into milkiness. The whole world seems to slide into the drain by my window.

It has rained and rained since you left, the streets black and muscled with water. Out of pain and exhaustion you came into my mouth, covering my tongue with your good and bitter milk.

Now I find you have cashed that cheque. I...

Letter

Terrible Truth

9 January 1992

Pace Stan Smith’s review of my slim volume of poetry, Spilt Milk (LRB, 9 January): I’m an Irish bastard, not an Irish orphan.

Imagining the Suburbs

Stan Smith, 9 January 1992

Whole systems of thought have been founded on the French language’s inability to distinguish differing from deferring. Perhaps Napoleon is to blame (‘Not tonight, Josephine’)....

Read More

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Read More

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences