In the latest issue:

In Quarantine

Erin Maglaque

Après Brexit

Ferdinand Mount

Short Cuts: Springtime for Donald

David Bromwich

Meetings with their Gods

Claire Hall

‘Generation Left’

William Davies

At the North Miami Museum: Alice Paalen Rahon

Mary Ann Caws

Buchan’s Banter

Christopher Tayler

‘American Dirt’

Christian Lorentzen

Fiction and the Age of Lies

Colin Burrow

In Lahore

Tariq Ali

GOD HATES YOUR FEELINGS

James Lasdun

Rereading Bowen

Tessa Hadley

At the Corner House

Rosemary Hill

William Gibson

Thomas Jones

Poem: ‘Murph & Me’

August Kleinzahler

The Stud File

Kevin Brazil

John Boorman’s Quiet Ending

David Thomson

In Shanghai: The West Bund Museum

John-Paul Stonard

Diary: The Deborah Orr I Knew

Jenny Turner

The Word from Wuhan

Wang Xiuying

Out of SeasonAnnemarie Austin
Close
Close

This is no country for young women –
the old on one another’s arms, ice in the air,
etcetera ...

Cheap-rate, off-peak, out-of-season,
they come in charabancs
– coaches too new a term –
and debouch on the sea front,
chorused by snapping, masticating wind,
savoured with sauce of rain.

The town half-wakes for them:
one putting-green, an ice-cream stall,
flurry of drab cafés; while all around
painters on ladder stalks garnish façades
for other, richer, younger clients,
coming later.

Monotony of the scene:
its measured pace and film of mackintoshes
– beige or grey (the sky the same);
no red tee-shirt, no yellow hair,
radio singing on a swung wrist-strap,
no oiled and sapid motorbike.

The sea bares icy teeth for them,
sun is too low and thin to warm,
air on the lips is bitter in its salt;
tastes styled for summer
wither on the winter tongue
till charabancs return.

Send Letters To:

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

letters@lrb.co.uk

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