In the latest issue:

The Politics of Like and Dislike

William Davies

The Shrine

Alan Bennett

After the Shock

Adam Tooze

Punishment by Pressing

Hazel V. Carby

The Suitcase

Frances Stonor Saunders

Short Cuts: Thanington Without

Patrick Cockburn

The Lessons of Reconstruction

Randall Kennedy


Linda Colley

Eva Hesse

Anne Wagner

Parachuted into France

Neal Ascherson

The Age of Sail

N.A.M. Rodger

Poem: ‘Near Gleann nam Fiadh’

Robin Robertson

‘You People’

Clare Bucknell

What Didn’t Happen

Michael Wood

Forster in Cambridge

Richard Shone

Diary: In Ashgabat

James Lomax

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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