In the latest issue:

The World Goes Bust

Adam Tooze

A nice girl like Simone

Joanna Biggs

The Arrestables

Jeremy Harding

Short Cuts: Built from Light

Daniel Soar

‘Cleanness’

Edmund Gordon

The Ghent Altarpiece

Julian Bell

You can’t prove I meant X

Clare Bucknell

At the Royal Academy: Léon Spilliaert

John-Paul Stonard

Conrad Jumps Ship

Fredric Jameson

How to set up an ICU

Lana Spawls

Poem: ‘Mayfly’

Fiona Benson

Follow the Science

James Butler

Diary: #coronasomnia

Wang Xiuying

Play It AgainC.K. Stead
Close
Close

For Les Murray on his 60th Birthday, 17 October 1998

Corporate raider
in the larder
of language

with more than a tyre
to spare
and girth to go

he lacks the classic
pose of restraint
his motto

‘Never say When’
his poems pack-horses
unloaded

line by line
under a blazing sky
or in the

downpour that speaks
in gutters and spouts
of Excess.

Here the Golden
Disobedience
is practised.

Here the Dark Celt
meets Anglo-Oz. Here
the Fat Boy

cries in a cave
for his Mother
and tries to grow

into the shape
of a woman.
Here the Poor Cow

finds words to match
its beautiful eyes
and takes heart.

Here the Coolongolook
stops
to reflect and the

Jindyworobak
finds itself
sophisticate.

None-the-Les Murray
now that the Black Dog
is gone

this day brings you to
a number
cheerfully round.

Nouns will be busy
at being
verbs at doing

down the long road
where gums flap
their bark bandages

at a rush of galahs
and the world
(your reader)

urges you
in the glint of webs
and the scents of

morning
to go to your desk
and play it again.

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