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Odes to hope (and techno): poems to get you going again


Need a shot of a something powerful to launch you into 2017? Poet Carol Rumens introduces 10 irresistible poems about everything from collapsing beds to birds singing in storms

Patience Agbabi makes language swing as she imagines an encounter with the 1920s singer, dancer and political activist Josephine Baker in Brixton, London. It’s a double monologue shaped like a palindrome, or mirror-poem, in which the second stanza uses the same lines as the first, but in reverse. As the two garçonnes (sexually liberated women) enjoy a pick-up that’s also a mutual pick-me-up, you might not notice the formal virtuosity, but you’ll definitely feel the joy.

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