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


Joe Dunthorne

Poem: ‘The Reach of the Sea’

Maureen N. McLane

Diary: Where water used to be

Rosa Lyster

White MidasPeter Redgrove

It is the Pope, the veritable white Polish Pope,
The Pope who has been a poet, the published Pope,
He who kisses the soil, and accordingly

Worships a Black Virgin, now like a Christ-child
He has re-arrived, in a cradle, a deep wicker,
And it has a glow of dayspring gold, an aura,

As though he were frying delighted in pure oil:
He was vibrating gold and this was his atmosphere,
And I? I was tending him

Like a secret ornament ... even
Such a being must change nappies
But they were scalding-hot, and I

Could not touch them. I looked closer,
I saw it was not piss had made them heavy –
They were woven gold, gold spun and braided.

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