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

Blood will have bloodPatricia Beer
Vol. 4 No. 14 · 5 August 1982

Blood will have blood

Patricia Beer

123 words

Now the Conference stands up to sing
About the blood that dyed the scarlet banners,
Face after flushed face lauding a vampire king.

At church service this morning all the sinners
Were non-political. The leaders came
To Blackpool as sincere long-distance runners

Away, by miles and years, from the blood of the Lamb
That clotted in their youth: a tourists’ stain
On arras or flagged floor, touched up by time.

They would not go to church. And yet they join
In words as gory as a hymn, or God
The Son. I look for embarrassment, see none.

It’s getting dark. Today the martyr dead
Of church and politics have heard the glee
The blood in the veins sings with the blood outside.

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