After the Air Tattoo

By Fiona Sampson b. 1963 Fiona Sampson
All in the stilly night the muntjac
roars from its hedge: a barking roar
of July, heat, its own broken-open
                      under black
viscose, a sky
static with plane-roar.

The intermission after the greatest air show in the world;
fields and lane recovering;
tarmac tonguing sky again,
in the summer half-dark, towards Fairford

where ancient glass trembles,   
facets of dark open to tumble out
king, revenge-tragedy, triumphal colors of God.

Source: Poetry (December 2007).


This poem originally appeared in the December 2007 issue of Poetry magazine

December 2007
 Fiona  Sampson


Fiona Sampsonwas born in London and trained as a violinist. Her early musical studies and professional career as a musician in Europe influenced her editing and writing. She studied at Oxford University and received a PhD in the philosophy of language from Nijmegen University in the Netherlands. Her poetry collections include Folding the Real (2001); The Distance Between Us (2005), a novel in verse; Common Prayer (2007); and . . .

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SUBJECT Social Commentaries, History & Politics, War & Conflict

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