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Wang Xiuying

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Luc Sante

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Blessed Isles

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At the Movies: ‘Jojo Rabbit’ and ‘A Hidden Life’

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Redeeming Winnie

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Diary: A Friendly Fighting Force

Nick McDonell

Two PoemsHugh Williams
Close
Close

My Lady’s Fingertips

Her long red fingernails have gone
Down the kitchen sink and drain,
But varnished and scarlet they’ll reappear
   At the close of this campaign,
Encircling, as of old, my heart
And glasses of champagne
To live happily ever after
   The close of this campaign.
And to mark the spot where now I see
A horrible chilblain
I’ll set a stone from Cartier’s
   At the close of this campaign.

To a Red Carnation

My love and I, we used to go
Down Bond Street for a stroll.
We sauntered slowly past the shops,
Leisurely towards our goal,
Which was generally The Berkeley
For a pint of Monopole.
And on the way we used to stop
To buy my buttonhole.

But that was all some time ago –
Two summers and a spring –
Before the florist’s shop was bombed
and the Blitz was in full swing.
My red carnation’s disappeared,
You cannot wear the thing
Pinned to the uniform
Of His Majesty the King.

So my love and I will wait a while
To buy my buttonhole,
And once again look in the shops
Of Bond Street as we stroll.
Back to the Berkeley we shall come,
But Berlin is now the goal.
What’s the Hotel Adlon like?
Will they have Monopole?

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