In the latest issue:

Loathed by Huysmans

Julian Barnes

Too early or too late?

David Runciman

Short Cuts: Five Victorian Marriages

Tom Crewe

Society as a Broadband Network

William Davies

Indefinite Lent

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

How to set up an ICU

Lana Spawls

Close
Close

We are the dawn sniffers, the motley few,
This morning snuffling at the lateness
Of the only service this side of midday.
Does it still exist? Is it late enough
To risk a common ground with coded quips
Regarding ‘leaves’, or some such dreary mot?

The plaque inside the cedar-scented bothy
Tells of how this elevated halt
Was saved from nettly dereliction
By Betjeman’s verses at the vanguard
Of a Churchillian parish effort.
(Who says poetry makes nothing happen?)

This the kind of quaint campaign, I reflect,
Which keeps the — Echo in semi-circles
Of waistcoated heroes (mayoral chains
And paunch centre) the pale ale committees
In clover; a dwindling band in the faith
That all is well and all manner of things ...

The train that finally sulks round the bend
Is new-liveried, owned by accountants,
The portly driver leaning out to shrug
Not looking forward to the downsizing
As we’re sealed in with rattly laptops,
A Walkman’s hard hiss too close for comfort.

Send Letters To:

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

letters@lrb.co.uk

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