In the latest issue:

Loathed by Huysmans

Julian Barnes

Too early or too late?

David Runciman

Short Cuts: Five Victorian Marriages

Tom Crewe

Society as a Broadband Network

William Davies

Indefinite Lent

Thomas Jones

In 1348

James Meek

The Yorkists

John Guy

At the Movies: Pasolini’s ‘Teorema’

Michael Wood

Whitehall Spookery

Neal Ascherson

Poem: ‘The Bannisters’

Paul Muldoon

Clarice Lispector

Rivka Galchen

Marius Petipa

Simon Morrison

At the Foundling Museum: ‘Portraying Pregnancy’

Joanne O’Leary

Gordon v. O’Connor

Rupert Thomson


Joe Dunthorne

Poem: ‘The Reach of the Sea’

Maureen N. McLane

Diary: Where water used to be

Rosa Lyster

The LoaningSeamus Heaney

As I went down the loaning to the fields
the wind shifting in the hedge
was like an old one’s whistling speech.
I knew then I was in the limbo of lost words.

They had flown there from outhouses and crossroads,
from under rotten carts and churchyard walls.
I saw them streaming out of birch-white throats
to nest a while in those old places, then
on a day close as a stranger’s breath
rising in smoky crowds on the summer sky
to settle in the uvulae of mossed stones
and the soft lungs of the hawthorn.

I knew then why from the beginning
the loaning breathed upon me
though now each hole in the hedge was blowing cold
as I went stooped and shivering beneath
the spit blood of a few last haws and rose-hips.

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