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

GOD HATES YOUR FEELINGS

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

Election AddressBill Manhire
Close
Close
Vol. 38 No. 15 · 28 July 2016
Poem

Election Address

Bill Manhire

213 words

I expect you know why I have asked you here
at this late hour. The stars, gentlemen, the stars!
They shine as ever, here at End-of-the-line.
Do sit awhile and admire the heavens.
I have robes and a chain, and I have power
in useful ways: your electricity
is mine, as is the public swimming pool.
I license the posts you hope to score beneath.
I can require the trams to go more slowly, for as you know
at speed they wildly sway from side to side.
Indeed I pledge now to slow them. Also I retain
the men who plant flower after flower
along our rugged coast. And yet it is true
End-of-the-line suffers from its libraries,
by which I do not mean a money thing.
No. People should not be handling our books
when they spit and dress like that. And ocean gales
come constantly to harry us,
and seaweed and driftwood, which we gather,
can barely compensate. Oh we live in an old something
of the sun, and yes, I get many letters, rates,
I read them all. Drains or pigeons? Make a wish!
I do not care, sir, that you do not swim.
Yes, I was troubled by the recent earthquake.
I do not believe that I am rubbish.

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