In the latest issue:

Botanic Macaroni

Steven Shapin

What made the Vikings tick?

Tom Shippey

In the Lab

Rupert Beale

Will there be a Brexit deal?

Anand Menon

Short Cuts: Under New Management

Rory Scothorne

Out-Tissoted

Bridget Alsdorf

Sarah Moss

Blake Morrison

Poem: ‘Country Music’

Ange Mlinko

On the Trail of Garibaldi

Tim Parks

Art Lessons

Peter Campbell

You’ll like it when you get there

Tom Crewe

Early Kermode

Stefan Collini

‘The Vanishing Half’

Joanna Biggs

At the Movies: ‘The Truth’

Michael Wood

The Suitcase: Part Two

Frances Stonor Saunders

Poem: ‘Siri U’

Jorie Graham

Diary: Getting into Esports

John Lanchester

Two PoemsPeter Porter
Close
Close

About Auden’s Juvenilia

He knew he would be great
  And told his tutor so
But lots of second-rate
  Ramshackle lines ‘to go’
Like pizzas on a plate
  He ordered up: we know
His Hardy phase, his Yeats.

But as we sort out from
  The country metaphors
(That almanac birdsong,
  Those Edward Thomas spores)
The few bits which belong
  To his mature scores,
We smell death on the Somme.

He didn’t write of war
  But just like Isherwood
Saw straight sex as the flaw
  Which cost a decade’s blood –
His poems should restore
  A world before the flood,
The cooked renew the raw.

Watch This Space

In galaxy M87
matter is disappearing endlessly
at unimaginable velocity
producing a density which
on earth would shrink the planet
to the size of one small marble.

All the mind can do
to speculate on this
is guess that far beyond
but still within itself
a matching universe is set
to disappear by rote.

Since space is unconfined
a lesser Science rules
whatever’s mensural,
and gods come out like stars,
unknown but understood,
to mask infinity.

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