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An Ordinary Woman

Alan Bennett

Anglo-America Loses its Grip

Pankaj Mishra

Short Cuts: John Bolton’s Unwitting Usefulness

Mattathias Schwartz

Smells of Hell

Keith Thomas

Mrs Oliphant

Tom Crewe

Tippett’s Knack

Philip Clark

At Tate Modern: Steve McQueen

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Catherine Lacey

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Churchill’s Cook

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The ‘Batrachomyomachia’

Ange Mlinko

On Dorothea Lange

Joanna Biggs

Paid to Race

Jon Day

Poem: ‘Traveller’s Tales: Chapter 90’

August Kleinzahler

The Soho Alphabet

Andrew O’Hagan

Old Tunes

Stephen Sedley

Victor Serge’s Defective Bolshevism

Tariq Ali

The Murdrous Machiavel

Erin Maglaque

Diary: Insane after coronavirus?

Patricia Lockwood

Two PoemsAharon Shabtai, translated by Peter Cole
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Culture

The mark of Cain won’t sprout
from a soldier who shoots
at the head of a child
on a knoll by the fence
round a refugee camp –
for beneath his helmet,
conceptually speaking,
his head is made of cardboard.
On the other hand,
the officer has read The Rebel;
his head is enlightened,
and so he does not believe
in the mark of Cain.
He’s spent time in museums,
and when he aims
his rifle at a boy,
as an ambassador of Culture
he updates and recycles
Goya’s etchings
and Guernica.

War

I, too, have declared war:
You’ll need to divert part of the force
deployed to wipe out the Arabs –
to drive them out of their homes
and expropriate their land –
and set it against me.
You’ve got tanks and planes,
and soldiers by the battalion;
you’ve got the rams’ horns in your hands
with which to rouse the masses;
you’ve got men to interrogate and torture;
you’ve got cells for detention.
I have only this heart
with which I give shelter
to an Arab child.
Aim your weapons at it:
even if you blow it apart
it will always,
always mock you.

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