In the latest issue:

Loathed by Huysmans

Julian Barnes

Too early or too late?

David Runciman

Short Cuts: ‘Parallel Lives’

Tom Crewe

Society as a Broadband Network

William Davies

Indefinite Lent

Thomas Jones

In 1348

James Meek

The House of York

John Guy

At the Movies: Pasolini’s ‘Teorema’

Michael Wood

Secrets are like sex

Neal Ascherson

Poem: ‘The Bannisters’

Paul Muldoon

Clarice Lispector

Rivka Galchen

Marius Petipa

Simon Morrison

At the Foundling Museum: ‘Portraying Pregnancy’

Joanne O’Leary

Caroline Gordon v. Flannery O’Connor

Rupert Thomson

Revism

Joe Dunthorne

Poem: ‘The Reach of the Sea’

Maureen N. McLane

Diary: Where water used to be

Rosa Lyster

How to set up an ICU

Lana Spawls

Follow the Science

James Butler

The Seine at AsnièresRonald Gaskell
Close
Close
Vol. 8 No. 16 · 18 September 1986
Poem

The Seine at Asnières

Ronald Gaskell

176 words

The minister has not been able to get away
this weekend – cables from London, Bucharest,
Berlin, St Petersburg. His secretary telephoned
just before lunch: possibly on Sunday,
probably not, or not till after three.

Lucille takes her new acquaintance,
the ambassador’s young wife, for an hour
on the river. The trees this summer
are so beautiful, the poplars dipping
and effacing their long forms of green and gold.

The Countess is delighted. After weeks of fashionable
chatter, of polite receptions, after all
the dust and heat and hurry of the boulevards,
to be drifting with this charming girl
who neither speaks nor smiles, except when smiled to!

On the bank an old painter looks up
from his canvas – judging the proportions
of the house, perhaps. Georges and Victor,
who have caught nothing, doze. The shadow
of the barn roof lengthens over the water.

All leave cancelled in Vienna, which could still
mean nothing. (Under the Pont des Arts
the light of early afternoon sways
and trembles.) London nervous.
No word yet from Brussels or Belgrade.

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