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

The Word from Wuhan

Wang Xiuying

Close
Close

The way you say the world is what you get.
What’s more, you haven’t time to change or choose.
The words swim out to pin you in their net

Before you guess you’re in the TV set
Lit up and sizzling with unfriendly news.
The mind’s machine – and you invented it –

Grinds out the formulae you have to fit,
The ritual syllables you need to use
To charm the world and not be crushed by it.

This cluttered motorway, that screaming jet,
Those crouching skeletons whose eyes accuse,
O see and say them, make yourself forget

That world is vaster than the alphabet,
And profligate, and meaner than the muse.
A bauble in the universe? Or shit?

Whichever way, you say the world you get,
Although what is is always there to lose.
No crimson name redeems the poisoned rose;
The absolute’s irrelevant. And yet ...

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