In the latest issue:

The World Goes Bust

Adam Tooze

A nice girl like Simone

Joanna Biggs

The Arrestables

Jeremy Harding

Short Cuts: Built from Light

Daniel Soar

‘Cleanness’

Edmund Gordon

The Ghent Altarpiece

Julian Bell

You can’t prove I meant X

Clare Bucknell

At the Royal Academy: Léon Spilliaert

John-Paul Stonard

Conrad Jumps Ship

Fredric Jameson

How to set up an ICU

Lana Spawls

Poem: ‘Mayfly’

Fiona Benson

Follow the Science

James Butler

Diary: #coronasomnia

Wang Xiuying

Get What You WantMaureen N. McLane
Close
Close

after Sappho, Fragment 58

You who, like undergraduates, are always young
go in for the lyre
do not neglect
to put your hands in the air say WAAAAAA
and wave the long night endless –
As for me the dawn breaks
upon my tender body turning
stiff, my hair from black to white –
I find myself changed
in this light, my hips locked,
an untwerkable ass.
C’est la vie, que será –

And you forever young
in the strobe of the club
that makes night danceable –
delicate animals holding me up in this air –
Some live forever,
girls – not I, not you –
but some goddesses and the ones
they choose even the one who forgot
to ask for endless youth.

Remember the fawn streaking across the lawn
below a thundering sky –
that’s not me
any longer
though the lightning shows the way
it was once done
The wind’s shifted, now north
that once blew south
I see you there laughing rolling
together in rhythms my blood
also feels             So they say
Remember how they sang
how the legend goes
you can’t always get what you want
the immortal aging rockers
who thus far defy what comes to all
their hearts straining against deathless ribs

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