In the latest issue:

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

I don’t know which pronunciation either
but will trust an advert that chooses semicolons over em dashes,
little Basil Bunting beards in favour
of shattered thistledown’s propellers.
Language as capillary action rising through
a sugar cube, growing heavy, placed on the tongue –

this is easier to explain in pidgin pillowtalk,
the link between grammar, glamour, grimoire,
mammoth (adj.) and slighted wheels of cheese,
appeasing hierarchies of action –
prowess is not just the female, foremost part of a ship’s bow,
the coffee cart, the obvious similes about Kintsugi, startling
the sun through clouds, through kite-marked windows.

I start and end days with you        isn’t that silly
conceits easily conceded by bus centres every day.
The ease with which kids can find new mouths,
loyalty only to low-slinged words and their balsamic notes –
300,000 birds yet still we get to call it murmuration –

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