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Boris Johnson’s First Year

Ferdinand Mount

Short Cuts: In the Bunker

Thomas Jones

Theban Power

James Romm

What can the WHO do?

James Meek

At the Type Archive

Alice Spawls

Where the Poor Lived

Alison Light

At the Movies: ‘Da 5 Bloods’

Michael Wood

Cultural Pillaging

Neal Ascherson

Jenny Offill

Adam Mars-Jones

Shakespeare v. the English

Michael Dobson

Poem: ‘Now Is the Cool of the Day’

Maureen N. McLane

Tativille

David Trotter

Consider the Hare

Katherine Rundell

How Should I Refer to You?

Amia Srinivasan

Poem: ‘Field Crickets (Gryllus campestris)’

Fiona Benson

Diary: In Mali

Rahmane Idrissa

Close
Close

Inheritance

These little steps and quivers
Remind me of my mother’s,
Yet now they are made by me
In part-senility –
Gestures and postures passed
Across the years, not lost
But, as if imitated,
Put on and animated
By limbs, and flesh, and features,
With movements and with gestures,
So that what was me
Becomes this parody,
Shuddering and moving on
In jerks, till I have gone
For something else to inhabit
This inherited frame,
The same and not the same,
Inhabit, inherit, give credit
To the little steps and the quiver
Linking me to my mother,
And all that has passed,
And all that is not lost.

Felled

I got you to count the rings – thirty-three of them,
Three times older than yourself. Not very old,
And clear on the tilted upward face,
Yet still mysterious in their gradations:
Some thick, some thin, coiling about the base
In different shades and colours – yellow, brown,
Darkening and lightening: as if they told
A story of their seasons and their time,
Still to be numbered, spelled out, and made clear,
Narrowing down to make this final rhyme.

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