In the latest issue:

The American Virus

Eliot Weinberger

The Home Life of Inspector Maigret

John Lanchester

Story: ‘Have a Seat in the Big Black Chair’

Diane Williams

The Last Whale

Colin Burrow

In Beijing

Long Ling

Princess Margaret and Lady Anne

Rosemary Hill

At the Movies: ‘Arkansas’

Michael Wood

Ruin it your own way

Susan Pedersen

At Home

Jane Miller

The Ottoman Conundrum

Helen Pfeifer

Poem: ‘Muntjac’

Blake Morrison

Piketty’s Revolution

Geoff Mann

Short Cuts: In Tripoli

Jérôme Tubiana

Coetzee Makes a Leap

Christopher Tayler

At Auckland Castle: Francisco de Zurbarán

Nicola Jennings

Drain the Swamps

Steven Shapin

Diary: In the Isolation Room

Nicholas Spice


Up at five o’clock on an August morning
We carry light luggage out of the house.
With heavy cases our children stoop.
Their children are winged
With small bright backpacks.

The sky is a shop window before opening-time,
Goods shadowy as trees. But in a back room
And spreading, the light will soon come on.

We breathe cautiously in the untried air,
Talk warily at the centre of six fields.

And then comes cockcrow, swaggering up
Out of the valley. The invisible bird
Plumes himself. He was the one chosen
To nail good terrified Peter. He conquers
The dark with flying colours.

We wave our dear children and theirs
Into the growing light. We are old
And sleep late after bad nights.
We shall not hear the conquistador again
Till they visit us in another season
Travelling up the valley like cockcrow.

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