In the latest issue:

The Word from Wuhan

Wang Xiuying

‘The Man in the Red Coat’

Luc Sante

Is it OK to have a child?

Meehan Crist

Short Cuts: Ubu Unchained

August Kleinzahler

Bury that bastard

Nicole Flattery

Surplus Sons

Clare Bucknell

Oliver Lee Jackson

Adam Shatz

The Servant Problem

Alison Light

Poem: ‘1 x 30’

Anne Carson

The Old Bailey

Francis FitzGibbon

Jiggers, Rods and Barleycorns

James Vincent

More Marple than Poirot

J. Robert Lennon

On Rachael Allen

Matthew Bevis

Like a Ball of Fire

Andrew Cockburn

The Staffordshire Hoard

Tom Shippey

Blessed Isles

Mary Wellesley

At the Movies: ‘Jojo Rabbit’ and ‘A Hidden Life’

Michael Wood

Redeeming Winnie

Heribert Adam

Diary: A Friendly Fighting Force

Nick McDonell

Rereading Katherine Mansfield’s ‘Bliss and Other Stories’Douglas Dunn
Vol. 3 No. 8 · 7 May 1981

Rereading Katherine Mansfield’s ‘Bliss and Other Stories’

Douglas Dunn

128 words

A pressed fly, like a skeleton of gauze,
Has waited here between page 98
And 99, in the story called ‘Bliss’,
Since the summer of ’62, its date,

Its last day in a trap of pages. Prose
Fly, what can ‘Je ne parle pas français’ mean
To you who died in Scotland, when I closed
These two sweet pages you were crushed between?

Here is a green bus-ticket for one week
In May, my place-mark in ‘The Dill Pickle’.
I did not come home that Friday. I flick
Through all our years, my love; and I love you still.

These stories must have been inside my head
That day, falling in love, preparing this
Good life; and this, this fly, that’s sepulchred
In words, one dry tear punctuating ‘Bliss’.

Send Letters To:

The Editor
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN

Please include name, address, and a telephone number.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Read More

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences