In the latest issue:

The World Goes Bust

Adam Tooze

A nice girl like Simone

Joanna Biggs

The Arrestables

Jeremy Harding

Short Cuts: Built from Light

Daniel Soar

‘Cleanness’

Edmund Gordon

The Ghent Altarpiece

Julian Bell

You can’t prove I meant X

Clare Bucknell

At the Royal Academy: Léon Spilliaert

John-Paul Stonard

Conrad Jumps Ship

Fredric Jameson

How to set up an ICU

Lana Spawls

Poem: ‘Mayfly’

Fiona Benson

Follow the Science

James Butler

Diary: #coronasomnia

Wang Xiuying

Burners Go RawAnne Carson
Close
Close
Vol. 31 No. 4 · 26 February 2009
Poem

Burners Go Raw

Anne Carson

336 words

Burners medieval dark mud on a road a dark morning, falling back through memories a faint pain, dark uphill way the usual alone and gravel picking my step out where nothing, out hoping, hope sinking, slope rising, that dark colour, almost rain, a thing impending, how to get home the perfect lamplight from which out where nothing though I can almost taste it oh yes today, if today is your example today I could get back the cold slope just a foil the drear rain almost Brontë but one day no, one day that dark mud is the whole rigging the entire arrangement every north south sideways song pleading past the end of the soundtrack and then we’ll see and then we’ll spend, then we’ll be the burners

Go snow woke me, light soaking out of snow straying up from lawns hedges caves coves pawing in through blinds through eyelids like a strain on the night, the night could not bear this strain I am here in my white shell I said Here I am I went out to help the night, no that’s not how it was go again, go nightingale, sometimes starting up from sleep lost from you is all one piece with the night itself that thing desolate stretched roving in it as if childhood came back deep in tides or a dream of a face turned away. I thought it was a deer. I thought you would outlive me

Raw nothing I knew was of any use with you one day you climbed in the kitchen window poured raw rubies out on the table from a drawstring bag at your hip They look fake count on me to say the wrong no point comparing earthly, you could always pull out a girl a wound a shatter a bud to be nipped in the doom I wasn’t half and when you left I sat at the table in my life. I sat at the table in my life

Send Letters To:

The Editor
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN

letters@lrb.co.uk

Please include name, address, and a telephone number.

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