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Laurence Lerner

Laurence Lerner new collection of poems, The man I killed, will be published shortly.

Poem: ‘Olly and Tim’

Laurence Lerner, 8 November 1990

Olly has a new guest. Uninvited Tim entered his head, pushing his way, Intending to stay. Forty years I’ve known Olly. Who’s Tim?

Tokyo spilt over the plains of China. As the sun set a million million midges Stippled the sky. Leaf reached at leaf, Overcrowding the elms, the beeches.

Flabby Olly, smoking, laughing, leching, Won’t last till Christmas, the doctors said. Pushy...

Poem: ‘Kaspar Hauser’

Laurence Lerner, 15 May 1980

All that long time there was the place I was, All that long same, the dark and constant same. I came to being and it bit my eyes.

I want to be a rider like my father. A soldier was my father was a horseman. I want to be a rider and I want

Out of that same he carried me up stairs, Out of that dark and then I stood to lean; The soft ground stood and hit me till I fell.

When it was hunger time...

Anger and Dismay

Denis Donoghue, 19 July 1984

A few weeks ago I gave a lecture at Reading, to a Conference of Higher Education Teachers of English. My visit was brief, but long enough to reinforce my sense that teaching English has become a...

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The Pain of History

Stephen Brook, 19 February 1981

Derek Walcott is now 50 years old, but there is none of the placidity or mellowing of middle age in The Star-Apple Kingdom. If Naipaul is the great novelist of the colonial experience, Walcott...

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Novels about Adultery

Frank Kermode, 15 May 1980

It calls for no great acumen to spot a connection between adultery and theft. According to Dr Johnson, ‘the essence of the crime’ lay in ‘the confusion of progeny’, for by...

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