from “Repeat Until Time”

Hannah Sullivan

“When things are patternless,
their fascination’s stronger.”

When things are patternless, their fascination's stronger.Failed form is hectic with loveliness, and compels us longer.The horse chestnut gets on tediously with its leaves,Provides spiked toys, diets middle-aged in winter,Gets low-carb skeletal, squash lean, only toHave another go with the old Cool Whip come spring.The oak tree is absurd as new parents amazedThat a baby's nails need cutting, dead keratin: so slickSo dull, that eternal kernel rigmarole,The bee-sucked flower, the pig-shat nut,From which, what junky miracle, new oak trees grow?The pollarded tree is subtler, its season a fungal autumn.The branches that were husbanded will never grow clean.But stunted they stay, an old woman's cobbled knees,Thick legs beneath a butterball skirt, a green flare,Her skirts lifted high as she dances to wedding music.Rolled-up sleeves around each cut-back headEnd in slender new sprouts,Crooked forearms shot from the bark.You think of Alabama at noon,A quiet clapboard church,White shirts rolled up, dust motesAntsy on the windows, in the heat,An uncertain hosanna.It is hard to say if there is progress in history.

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Teresa Walton

Hannah Sullivan lives in London and teaches English at Oxford. She studied Classics at Cambridge, and then lived in the United States for a decade. Three Poems was her debut collection. It was awarded the 2018 T. S. Eliot Prize and the John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize. Her new collection, Was It For This, is published in January, 2023, by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

New York, New York

To honor FSG's 75th anniversary, here is a unique anthology celebrating the riches and variety of its poetry list—past, present, and future

Poetry has been at the heart of Farrar, Straus and Giroux's identity ever since Robert Giroux joined the fledgling company in the mid-1950s, soon bringing T. S. Eliot, John Berryman, Robert Lowell, and Elizabeth Bishop onto the list. These extraordinary poets and their successors have been essential in helping define FSG as a publishing house with a unique place in American letters.

The FSG Poetry Anthology includes work by almost all of the more than one hundred twenty-five poets whom FSG has published in its seventy-five-year history. Giroux's first generation was augmented by a group of international figures (and Nobel laureates), including Pablo Neruda, Nelly Sachs, Derek Walcott, Seamus Heaney, and Joseph Brodsky. Over time the list expanded to includes poets as diverse as Yehuda Amichai, John Ashbery, Frank Bidart, Louise Glück, Thom Gunn, Ted Hughes, Yusef Komunyakaa, Mina Loy, Marianne Moore, Paul Muldoon, Les Murray, Grace Paley, Carl Phillips, Gjertrud Schnackenberg, James Schuyler, C. K. Williams, Charles Wright, James Wright, and Adam Zagajewski.

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