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The American Virus

Eliot Weinberger

The Home Life of Inspector Maigret

John Lanchester

Story: ‘Have a Seat in the Big Black Chair’

Diane Williams

The Last Whale

Colin Burrow

In Beijing

Long Ling

Princess Margaret and Lady Anne

Rosemary Hill

At the Movies: ‘Arkansas’

Michael Wood

Ruin it your own way

Susan Pedersen

At Home

Jane Miller

The Ottoman Conundrum

Helen Pfeifer

Poem: ‘Muntjac’

Blake Morrison

Piketty’s Revolution

Geoff Mann

Short Cuts: In Tripoli

Jérôme Tubiana

Coetzee Makes a Leap

Christopher Tayler

At Auckland Castle: Francisco de Zurbarán

Nicola Jennings

Drain the Swamps

Steven Shapin

Diary: In the Isolation Room

Nicholas Spice

Room to RhymeMichael Longley
Close
Close

in memory of Seamus Heaney

I

I blew a kiss across the stage to you
When we read our poems in Lisdoonvarna
Two weeks before you died. Arrayed in straw
The Armagh Rhymers turned up at the end.

II

In the middle of a field in Mourne country
Standing side by side, looking straight ahead
We peed against a fragment of stone wall,
St Patrick’s windbreak, the rain’s urinal.

III

On our pilgrimages around the North
In your muddy Volkswagen, we chanted
Great War songs: Hush! Here comes a whizz-bang!
We’re here because we’re here because we’re …

IV

Smashed after Room to Rhyme in Cushendall
We waded through heather-stands to Fair Head
And signed our names in biro on Davy’s shirt
And launched it off the cliff into the wind.

V

We drove after Bloody Sunday to join
The Newry March – road blocks, diversions –
Time enough to decide, if we were asked
At gunpoint: And what religion are you?

VI

When Oisín Ferran was burned to death, you
Stood helpless in the morgue and wept and wept.
Awaken from your loamy single-bed:
Kiss me on the lips in Lisdoonvarna.

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