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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

Revism

Joe Dunthorne

Poem: ‘The Reach of the Sea’

Maureen N. McLane

Diary: Where water used to be

Rosa Lyster

Another DreamBrad Leithauser
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             Unreckonable,
          the distance crossed to reach
       the dark before this lighted ledge no
     deeper than a bookshelf, holding a white beach
   with two live finger-puppet figures – but here
  you stand, stooping before them, nonetheless.
You’ve made it; lean closer; and surely, yes
that is the smell of brine ... And oh yes such
minute dioramic ingenuities! (as in
the way the kelp, long abandoned by the sea
as hopelessly tangled, comes with tiny, tinny flies
among its lichen-like salt-stain blossoms ...) She,

                 wearing nothing,
                evidently, under her
              powder-blue plastic raincoat,
            hunches by a driftwood fire, face so astir
          with reflections, one can’t help reading there
       a crystallising impulse to be elsewhere. He – well,
he’s another matter, isn’t he? Truth to tell,
thinking’s the furthest thing from his thoughts
as he tilts back on tiptoe till his spine cracks
satisfyingly, next assesses the ocean, section
by section, with a gaze that says: ‘All this,
too, coming my way – isn’t it perfection?’

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