In the latest issue:

In Quarantine

Erin Maglaque

Après Brexit

Ferdinand Mount

Short Cuts: Springtime for Donald

David Bromwich

Meetings with their Gods

Claire Hall

‘Generation Left’

William Davies

At the North Miami Museum: Alice Paalen Rahon

Mary Ann Caws

Buchan’s Banter

Christopher Tayler

‘American Dirt’

Christian Lorentzen

Fiction and the Age of Lies

Colin Burrow

In Lahore

Tariq Ali

GOD HATES YOUR FEELINGS

James Lasdun

Rereading Bowen

Tessa Hadley

At the Corner House

Rosemary Hill

William Gibson

Thomas Jones

Poem: ‘Murph & Me’

August Kleinzahler

The Stud File

Kevin Brazil

John Boorman’s Quiet Ending

David Thomson

In Shanghai: The West Bund Museum

John-Paul Stonard

Diary: The Deborah Orr I Knew

Jenny Turner

Two PoemsGavin Ewart
Close
Close

A Place in the Hierarchy

Anybody can easily see
that Auden is cleverer than me,
and likewise Professor Dodds
or even Joseph Brods-
                                      ky!

And the talents that the Fates
once handed out to Yeats
must make me seem a wimp
and very lowgrade simp-
                                          ly!

High Art is not quite my scene,
I am more a might-have-been,
a sow’s ear, not a silk,
and far below great Rilk-
                                          e!

I’m flatter, some think, than a quiche
but still I have my own small niche;
and, with luck, I can bend
your ear like Stephen Spend-
                                                er!

The Function of Pets

In many households the pets
are the only things they talk about,
holding the family together
so that the husband doesn’t go walkabout ...

or the wife admit some spurious boy.
Pets are the loved ones, the centre
of family attention, always on stage,
with no Exit or Enter.

Cats are catalysts, and dogs
give rise to dogma. They’re the only
focal point for both adults and children.
The members of the family would feel lonely

if it weren’t for this common cause,
like a political alignment.
Each one of them becomes like a journalist
with one permanent assignment,

to report on the behaviour of cats, dogs, birds,
whose well-being mustn’t be tampered
with. They are the health of the family –
and that’s why they’re so pampered.

Send Letters To:

The Editor
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN

letters@lrb.co.uk

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