In the latest issue:

Boris Johnson’s First Year

Ferdinand Mount

Short Cuts: In the Bunker

Thomas Jones

Theban Power

James Romm

What can the WHO do?

James Meek

At the Type Archive

Alice Spawls

Where the Poor Lived

Alison Light

At the Movies: ‘Da 5 Bloods’

Michael Wood

Cultural Pillaging

Neal Ascherson

Jenny Offill

Adam Mars-Jones

Shakespeare v. the English

Michael Dobson

Poem: ‘Now Is the Cool of the Day’

Maureen N. McLane


David Trotter

Consider the Hare

Katherine Rundell

How Should I Refer to You?

Amia Srinivasan

Poem: ‘Field Crickets (Gryllus campestris)’

Fiona Benson

Diary: In Mali

Rahmane Idrissa

Shiochie’s Hill, DunkeldJohn Burnside
Vol. 18 No. 21 · 31 October 1996

Shiochie’s Hill, Dunkeld

John Burnside

114 words

I want to begin again,
climbing through beech roots and gulls
to the hill of the fairies,

to nest with the rooks, to sleep
amongst broken yews,
to crouch in the dark of the ice house, close to the stone;

I’ll come after dark and feel the wet
drift of their bodies,
they’ll share me with the foxes and the deer,

or borrow my human warmth
to weave a caul
for the child they have stolen

and though I could say they are only
the shiver in me that puts them there is real,

a wish for something quick against a skin
that cools too soon,
and wears itself too lightly.

Send Letters To:

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

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