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Operation

David Craig, 22 January 1998

... The condition (cancer) and the person (myself) Reeled towards each other over the years, Capsules slowly converging. Now they have docked – ‘Raped!’ the Soviet spacemen used to shout As the new arrival fitted in.                                               The surgeon Is using homely words: ‘We will take away Everything except the nerves and muscles’ (That’s sound, just what I would have done myself ...

‘A Pint of Milk’

David Wheatley, 19 May 2005

... leaving behind     only yourself and     the door unlocked venture down     the avenue for the messages     becoming the street as you go          and keeping an eye out for a hole in your shoe     the dog’s first word a bundle of rye     tomorrow’s paper a pub with no beer     a hole in the sky they ...

Two Poems

David Craig, 25 September 2008

... Human versus Robot It keeps on doing its best, That reddish thing inside me Pumping-pumping against The obstinate, tortuous fankle Of pulpy valves and tubeworms. Are they up to it any more – Thin-skinned, semi-elastic, A labyrinth of Victorian sewers, A sort of organic circuit board That badly needs rewiring? Titanium would do better, A tiny refined-alloy sleeve Inserted deep in the pulsing darkness ...

Two Poems

David Harsent, 22 June 2006

... Feverish After Yannis Ritsos Small squares on the move, merging, pulling apart, building bricks unbuilding, a city of windows inside a city of windows, everything hanging on two right-angles, free-standing, out of whack but somehow holding, somehow safe you decide at the very moment they crack and start to collapse (in utter silence) all of a heap where three fleabitten dogs set off at an easy lope going first through one small square then another, and etcetera, the scent of the alien dead ripe in their nostrils ...

Abandoned Christmas Tree Plantation

David Morley, 12 February 2009

... We are waiting for a Christmas that never came, each species a friend of a friend of some needle-hue. All the years, heights and postures are present like children in a school that no child ever leaves. Each species a friend of a friend of some needle-hue: those adolescent spruces prickle with boredom like children in a school that no child ever leaves ...

Savage Rush

David Trotter: The Tube, 21 October 2010

Underground Writing: The London Tube from George Gissing to Virginia Woolf 
by David Welsh.
Liverpool, 306 pp., £70, May 2010, 978 1 84631 223 6
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... as an occasion for otherwise elusive experience. It came to represent the modern in general, as David Welsh ably demonstrates in two immense chapters, one on utopian fantasy from the turn of the 20th century, the other on the inevitable ensuing sourness. In Anticipations (1902), H.G. Wells imagined the Metropolitan Railway’s ‘black and ...

Skipwith and Anktill

David Wootton: Tudor Microhistory, 10 August 2000

Travesties and Transgressions in Tudor and Stuart England 
by David Cressy.
Oxford, 351 pp., £25, November 1999, 0 19 820781 6
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A House in Gross Disorder: Sex, Law, and the Second Earl of Castlehaven 
by Cynthia Herrup.
Oxford, 216 pp., £18.99, December 1999, 0 19 512518 5
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... Both David Cressy and Cynthia Herrup believe they are writing microhistory, a word coined by Italians, but used to describe above all the work of Natalie Zemon Davis (The Return of Martin Guerre, 1983) and Robert Darnton (The Great Cat Massacre, 1984). Microhistorians have turned to the verbatim records of interrogations kept in the law courts of early modern Europe (or at least those parts of Europe where Roman law procedures were followed) to reconstruct the detailed stories of individual trials ...

What’s going on, Eric?

David Renton: Rock Against Racism, 22 November 2018

Walls Come Tumbling Down: The Music and Politics of Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone and Red Wedge 
by Daniel Rachel.
Picador, 589 pp., £12.99, May 2017, 978 1 4472 7268 7
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... to be gaining a presence not just in politics but in pop culture too. That same month, May 1976, David Bowie was photographed at Victoria Station on his return to Britain after two years in North America. Standing in an open-topped Mercedes, he appeared to give his fans some kind of open-handed, straight-armed – possibly fascist – salute. Soon afterwards ...

Deal of the Century

David Thomson: As Ovitz Tells It, 7 March 2019

Who Is Michael Ovitz? 
by Michael Ovitz.
W.H. Allen, 372 pp., £20, September 2018, 978 0 7535 5336 7
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... of ‘Whatever happened to … ?’ So who was he? Michael Ovitz was born in Chicago in 1946 to David, the son of Jewish Romanian immigrants. David was a liquor salesman for Seagram’s but he worked weekends too, selling patio furniture to support his family after they moved to Encino in the San Fernando Valley. ‘The ...

Apologia pro Poematis Meis

David Craig, 9 July 1987

... Why do the ivy and hawthorn glisten With an archaic light this morning? Why is their bending and shaking Under the easterly off the Pennines So much like a resigned bowing Under the buffets of history? Sunlight silvers the frame, The white surround is spotted with mildew. Pictured under the archway (Rennie’s ellipse of 1819), The village composes its features Into a perfectly Georgian image ...

From ‘At the Window’

David Harsent, 23 September 2021

... How this pale dawn light floods in from the skyline.How it seems almost at times to fail as if it mightfall back to midnight’s deep blue-black: as if it should.I am given over to dreams that say what’s mine is mine.I dreamt I was at this window and here I am:not dreaming, or so I think, though something stays.Dream has its flow, pain its own song to sing ...

Words washed clean

David Trotter, 5 December 1991

From Puritanism to Postmodernism: A History of American Literature 
by Richard Ruland and Malcolm Bradbury.
Routledge, 381 pp., £35, August 1991, 0 415 01341 0
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... the death of one child and abduction of another, to behave like a cross between Margaret Mead and David Attenborough. It is quite untrue to suggest that she averted her eyes from the realities of the ‘wilderness’; and equally untrue to suggest that her faith encouraged her to do so. It was precisely her conviction that providence works in mysterious ways ...

Short Cuts

David Runciman: The Dirtiest Player Around, 10 October 2013

... claims it was because he was good at his job. He compares himself to Andy Coulson, whose time with David Cameron coincided with the most successful phase of Cameron’s leadership. This is bravado. McBride’s performance was too full of cock-ups and drunken mishaps to serve as a model of cut-throat professionalism. He admits that Brown would forgive him ...

Notes on the Election

David Runciman, 21 May 2015

... be messy too. Commentators are already pointing out that if this is 1992 all over again then David Cameron is going to have a hellish time with the rebellious fringe of his own party, just as John Major did back then. But this is the wrong sort of mess. It is not compromise and accommodation in the name of defending politics against the forces of ...

Short Cuts

David Runciman: The Corbyn Surge, 27 August 2015

... poll of party members in 2010 had Ed Miliband winning by 4 per cent when in fact his brother, David, won that section of the electorate by nearly 9 per cent). If Corbyn does win, there is talk of a swift coup to replace him, but the Labour Party is not the Conservative Party and kneejerk anti-democratic moves are a much harder sell. Ed Miliband must take ...

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