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

Two PoemsJohn Burnside
Close
Close

St Hubert and the Deer

He has come to a halt in the woods:
snow on the path
               and everything gone to ground
in its silken lair;

gone to ground
             or folded in a death
so quiet, he can almost taste the fade
of hair and vein,

the flesh gone into light
and water
         part-song
                  lost in all this glister.

Nothing is less attractive than the heart,
but we have to admire its utter disdain
for comfort.

Nothing is so relentless or intact
and death is its only precision;
                         at the last
a voice will form beyond the empty trees

and something will glimmer away
                            to the far edge of vision,
the deer, perhaps:

                the deer
                       but not the prey
he sought for years
                 and cannot bear to master.

Uley Blue

I found a badger
struck down in the road,

as if by some
misgiving.

Tatters of blue
in the face, though not

the blue of woad
or of that stream

in Gloucestershire,
where young girls would

have put away their work
to watch the huntsmen

pass,
blue as the sky.

From some old
courtesy, I

dragged the body up
onto the verge,

then stood a while
as if to see it

blunder away
to the cloud-blue

of oat grass
and brambles,

but something in it,
stubborn as a wave,

refused that resurrection
while the rain

came slow and steady,
ink spots in the dust

and something like a hand
smoothing the fur

from blue, to grey,
and then to black and white.

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