In the latest issue:

An Ordinary Woman

Alan Bennett

Anglo-America Loses its Grip

Pankaj Mishra

Short Cuts: John Bolton’s Unwitting Usefulness

Mattathias Schwartz

Smells of Hell

Keith Thomas

Mrs Oliphant

Tom Crewe

Tippett’s Knack

Philip Clark

At Tate Modern: Steve McQueen

Colin Grant

Catherine Lacey

Nicole Flattery

Churchill’s Cook

Rosemary Hill

The ‘Batrachomyomachia’

Ange Mlinko

On Dorothea Lange

Joanna Biggs

Paid to Race

Jon Day

Poem: ‘Traveller’s Tales: Chapter 90’

August Kleinzahler

The Soho Alphabet

Andrew O’Hagan

Old Tunes

Stephen Sedley

Victor Serge’s Defective Bolshevism

Tariq Ali

The Murdrous Machiavel

Erin Maglaque

Diary: Insane after coronavirus?

Patricia Lockwood

MultipliedAnthony Thwaite
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He’s gone with her, and she has gone with him,
And two are left behind; and there’s four more –
The children, two of each; grandparents, still
Alive and well, till now, and taking sides;
And neighbours, six close by, and more besides
In half a dozen villages ... Until
The whole thing multiplies by seven score –
Why he went off with her, and she with him.

One, left behind, has changed the locks and keys:
The other keeps inside and draws the blinds.
The ones who went have rented somewhere near,
But no one’s seen them yet. The children play
With neighbours’ children. Those who’ve gone away
Will haggle over them, and fret in fear
Absence will blank them out. What clasps and binds
Shreds down to lawyers, judgments, mortgages.

So what began in two especial lives,
Involving many more in church and bank,
Florist, wine-merchant, dressmaker, Moss Bros,
A regiment of relatives, a ring,
Has now become this other tangled thing:
Two grew to eight, with dozens at a loss
To know whom they should blame or love or thank.

So many husbands gone, so many wives.

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