In the latest issue:

In Quarantine

Erin Maglaque

Après Brexit

Ferdinand Mount

Short Cuts: Springtime for Donald

David Bromwich

Meetings with their Gods

Claire Hall

‘Generation Left’

William Davies

At the North Miami Museum: Alice Paalen Rahon

Mary Ann Caws

Buchan’s Banter

Christopher Tayler

‘American Dirt’

Christian Lorentzen

Fiction and the Age of Lies

Colin Burrow

In Lahore

Tariq Ali


James Lasdun

Rereading Bowen

Tessa Hadley

At the Corner House

Rosemary Hill

William Gibson

Thomas Jones

Poem: ‘Murph & Me’

August Kleinzahler

The Stud File

Kevin Brazil

John Boorman’s Quiet Ending

David Thomson

In Shanghai: The West Bund Museum

John-Paul Stonard

Diary: The Deborah Orr I Knew

Jenny Turner

The Word from Wuhan

Wang Xiuying

Three PoemsCharles Simic

Migrating Birds

If only I had a dog, these crows congregating
In my yard would not hear the end of it.
If only the mailman would stop by my mailbox,
I’d stand in the road reading a letter
So all you who went by could envy me.

If only I had a car that ran well,
I’d drive out to the beach one winter day
And sit watching the waves
Trying to hurt the big rocks
Then scatter like mice after each try.

If only I had a woman to cook for me
Some hot soup on cold nights
And maybe bake a chocolate cake
A slice of which we’d take to our bed
And share after we’ve done loving.

If only these eyes of mine would see better,
I could read about birds migrating,
The vast oceans and deserts they cross
And their need to return to this shithole
After visiting many warm and exotic countries.


A child lifted in his mother’s arms to see a parade
And that old man throwing breadcrumbs
To the pigeons crowding around him in the park,
Could they be the same person?

The blind woman who may know the answer recalls
Seeing a ship as big as a city block
All lit up in the night sail past their kitchen window
On its way to the dark and stormy Atlantic.

All Gone into the Dark

Where’s the blind old street preacher led by a little boy
Who said the world will end next Thursday at noon?
Where’s the woman who walked down Madison Avenue
In the summer crowd, stark naked and proud of herself?

Where’s the poet Delmore Schwartz I once saw sitting
In Washington Square Park gesturing theatrically to himself?
Where’s the young man in a wheelchair pushed by his mother
Who kept shouting about wanting to kill more Vietnamese?

Mr Undertaker, sitting in a window of a coffee shop
Chewing on a buttered roll, you probably have a hunch –
Or are you, like the rest of us, equally in the dark
As you busy yourself around the newly arrived dead?

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