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Boris Johnson’s First Year

Ferdinand Mount

Short Cuts: In the Bunker

Thomas Jones

Theban Power

James Romm

What can the WHO do?

James Meek

At the Type Archive

Alice Spawls

Where the Poor Lived

Alison Light

At the Movies: ‘Da 5 Bloods’

Michael Wood

Cultural Pillaging

Neal Ascherson

Jenny Offill

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Shakespeare v. the English

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Poem: ‘Now Is the Cool of the Day’

Maureen N. McLane

Tativille

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Consider the Hare

Katherine Rundell

How Should I Refer to You?

Amia Srinivasan

Poem: ‘Field Crickets (Gryllus campestris)’

Fiona Benson

Diary: In Mali

Rahmane Idrissa

Olly and TimLaurence Lerner
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Olly has a new guest. Uninvited
Tim entered his head, pushing his way,
Intending to stay.
Forty years I’ve known Olly. Who’s Tim?

Tokyo spilt over the plains of China.
As the sun set a million million midges
Stippled the sky. Leaf reached at leaf,
Overcrowding the elms, the beeches.

Flabby Olly, smoking, laughing, leching,
Won’t last till Christmas, the doctors said.
Pushy Tim, tumbling among his brain-cells,
Proliferates in his head.

Crowds of people jog and elbow and stride;
Like leaves, like midges they cover
The streets, intending to live for decades
(And the young ones, for ever).

Olly picks his last, wizened apple.
Olly fondles his last breast, tells
His last, sad joke. He hasn’t room
For all Japan in his crowded cells.

Look at that throng: so many Christmases
In front of them, so much room
In their heads. Oh Tim,
Move into one of them.

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