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


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

Under the ClockTony Harrison
Vol. 25 No. 8 · 17 April 2003

Under the Clock

Tony Harrison

128 words

Under Dyson’s clock in Lower Briggate
was where my courting parents used to meet.
It had a Father Time and Tempus Fugit
sticking out sideways into the street
above barred windows full of wedding bands,
‘eternities’ to be inscribed with names,
like that I felt on Dad’s when we held hands,
or on Mam’s crumbling finger in cremation’s flames.

Today back on Briggate I stopped and saw
the red hands on the Roman XII and V
those lovers won’t meet under any more,
glad stooping Father Time and I survive.
I see the scythe, the hourglass, the wings,
the Latin you’d proudly ask me to construe
and think of the padded boxes with your rings,
under the clock to keep our rendezvous.

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