In the latest issue:

Robespierre’s Chamber Pot

Julian Barnes

Too early or too late?

David Runciman

Short Cuts: Five Victorian Marriages

Tom Crewe

Society as a Broadband Network

William Davies

Fifteen days from now

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

Revism

Joe Dunthorne

Poem: ‘The Reach of the Sea’

Maureen N. McLane

Diary: Where water used to be

Rosa Lyster

Close
Close

The sea inspects its
minutiae, rotating with an equal
indulgence plastic, bladder wrack, eel-grass
rejects nefarious
oil-slicks, birling them up to the selvedge of
high tide, relinquishing coral
topaz, amber, jade; resumes its proper office
of rolling dead sailors, cold engines
over and over in its green
looms, with the nonchalance of
neutrality; it observes
at one remove the blistering
shipwreck, the shot face; like Switzerland,
never taking sides in important
quarrels; but revolving with an impartial
forbearance Seemann and matelot
the bones of Kapitanleutnant and Commander
crafting them with a lapidary
talent, as it crafts other
pebbles.

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