Poetry by Virginia Astley, Christian Butler-Zanetti, Imogen Cassels, Caleb Femi, Ronan Hyacinthe, Theophilus Kwek, Grevel Lindop, Stanley Moss, Barney Norris, Michael O’Neill, George Szirtes, George Tardios and Heathcote Williams

 

Short fiction by Steven O’Brien

 

Featuring: Jennifer Breen on Woolf’s Hogarth Press Geoffrey Heptonstall on André Malraux Jeffrey Meyers on Self-Portraits Tony Roberts on Alexander Herzen Róisín Tierney on My London

 

Reviews by Isabel Galleymore, Claire Kohda Hazelton, Alistair Lexden, Steven Matthews, Will Stone, Simon Tait and Hal Swindall

 

Purchase options: Single issue Online subscription Print Subscription TLM app Kindle Edition

Articles

Poem in which my Mother is Monica Galetti

  I am a child. In our yellow kitchen before school she whistles breakfast from the London smog and plates up marmalade on toast. Smoke and oranges. In class we do a project on our family. In French, I tell the other children, galette means a sort of pancake, but don’t mention the gifts mother leaves in the oven for me to find on winter afternoons. Every day, I say, my mother j…

By Imogen Cassels

The Crossing

  ‘When any of the fugitives said, “Let me go over”, the men of Gilead said to him…”Say Shibboleth,” and he said, “Sibboleth,” for he could not pronounce it right. Then they seized him and slaughtered him at the fords of the Jordan (and thus) 42,000 of the Ephraimites fell.’ – Judges 12: 5-6   Calf deep in water and no turning back, We bury our swords in sacks of grain, Smea…

By Theophilus Kwek

Oh, Brother

  Brother, Matthew Dickman and Michael Dickman, Faber & Faber, 2016, £10.99 (paperback) Syllabus of Errors, Troy Jollimore, Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets, 2015, £12.95 (paperback)   These two striking collections, taken together, illustrate the strengths and weaknesses within contemporary reworkings of certain defined modes of American verse. Brother, the book-le…

By Steven Matthews

Rua Do Olival (Street Point 17)

  And if she leant lonesome on the sill, they’re talking by their shops, one of them that is filled with old frames piling up as musty as the slum that echoes with his cough, she stared, in a waiting stretching like the street, they stand, gathered, in the stillness of that street, the smallness of its width heightening its length, and almost as empty as the other one’s shelves …

By Ronan Hyacinthe

Publishing the 'New'

  ‘It is very good of you to throw a pound into our jaws, when you know nothing of what you may get out of them. Mr Eliot is an American of the highest culture, so that his writing is almost unintelligible; Middleton Murry edits The Athenaeum, and is also very obscure. I mean you’ll have to shut your door and give yourself a quiet few days—not for Kew Gardens, though; that is as simple as …

By Jennifer Breen

A Literary Landscape

  Winter Migrants, Tom Pickard, Carcanet, 2016, 74pp, £9.99 (paperback) Quennets, Philip Terry, Carcanet, 2016, 135pp, £12.99 (paperback)   Tom Pickard’s Winter Migrants begins with ‘Lark and Merlin’, which won the Bess Hokin prize in 2011. A sequence of lyrics, so precise that they evoke the ‘scalpel song’ of the wren described by Pickard, boldly moves between hawthorns, ora…

By Isabel Galleymore

I was walking

  that bit more quickly then less purposefully down a sunlit road that ran from traffic-lights at the town’s or was it the country’s edge past fields of corn or suburbs towards a place I thought it was my responsibility to reach, though its coordinates or how to get to it or where exactly I was escaped me, walking onwards with a queasy sense that my destination was over my sh…

By Michael O'Neill

An Old Photograph, dated 1945

  My sister has found an old photograph Of me holding a bucket and spade, On a beach fringed by coastal defences – I’m roaring with laughter. Unafraid. It’s 1945 though I’m completely unaware Of the war, or of thoughts of invasion. I know only paddling, the wind in my hair And my mother with her contraption – A Box Brownie for which she’d ask you to smile For a creature with…

By Heathcote Williams

Alexander Herzen in London

Decembrist blood! We are taxed for their visions. The earth turns, returns, through cycles of declamation - Geoffrey Hill, ‘Scenes with Harlequins’ 'There is no town in the world which is more adapted for training one away from people and training one into solitude than London. The manner of life, the distances, the climate, the very multitude of the population in which personality vanish…

By Tony Roberts

Haunting Parallels

  The Face of the Buddha, William Empson, edited and introduced by Rupert Arrowsmith, Oxford University Press, 2016, 224 pp, 74 black and white illustrations, 25 colour plates, £30.00 (hardback)   In the days of typewriters, many book manuscripts only existed in one copy. Therefore, if this copy were mislaid, it might be gone forever, which nearly happened with William Empson’…

By Hal Swindall

The Korean Wave

  The Story of Hong Gildong, Anonymous, trans. Minsoo Kang, Penguin Classics, 2016, £9.99 (paperback)   Thirty minutes north west of Seoul, next to the Han River, is the government-sponsored Paju Book City, a sprawling office complex from where most of South Korea’s publishing industry – that makes a massive $2.7 billion per year – operates. The buildings, which are smart and …

By Claire Kohda Hazelton

The Table

  This red oak table has no memory. Its mother was a tree who needed earth, water, and sunlight, a forest’s love of sunlight we can envy. Trees are deaf to birdsong, dead trees cut into boards join celebrations beyond their understanding: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Passover suppers. A hundred years from now I’d rather be an antique table than Yorick’s distant cousin. No living t…

By Stanley Moss

The Selkie

  October is dying quickly now. They bring me soup but I have no appetite. My skin is the colour of a dull, stale lemon. The door to my room is always open. I can sometimes hear the other people turn and shift in their beds. The doors of the red buses hiss in the street below. My limbs are not much more than a bundle of tent poles. I can see the tops of North London trees and beyond them…

By Steven O'Brien

Trucks

  The clouds shift past like overloaded trucks. It’s summer. We are standing on the kerb, hands joined, waiting to cross the road. Our island has drifted off into the sea and nothing is steady any more. The sea is rising so we can hardly see the road, the gutter’s full too, washing over the kerb. Wherever we look there are queues of waiting trucks. Where did we start all this? …

By George Szirtes

Crickadarn

  From the top of the slope, among the desire lines of crows, looking down to the house and its thought of smoke, you can see the Black Hills paced out into acres of field like the blanket your Mum made depicting a hillscape that you used to lie on before you were walking. And the farmers at their work, the flooded garden. The abandoned barns, stone huts, tumbled cot…

By Barney Norris

Wooden Spoon

  Not knives or pans. The genius of a kitchen is the wooden spoon, that archaic thing – a dugout unchanged since the Neolithic or before. Impervious to heat, stained by its meetings with food – soups, pulses, gravies, pastas – its colour deepens slowly from beech or cherry to the almost-black midwinters of the mulled wines it has drunk. Changed like us by what it works in it wea…

By Grevel Lindop

Tsunami-

  (Kho Phra Thong, 2004) We realise we are going to die. A rushing roar. Waves rise like hooded cobras Chase our panic barefoot through sand As we attempt to outpace time. Scarring screams punch us forward People behind are clawed mid-wail by cancerous water. Leaping at sheer hillsides Pull ourselves clear on creepers. ‘Is this all there is?’ Broken glass scratches hea…

By George Tardios

Two Daughters

  There was once a widowed lord with two comely daughters. Though the loss of his wife brought the lord great sadness he was consoled by the love of his daughters who grew into fine and beautiful young ladies, sharp of mind and possessed of great spirit. The girls doted on their father who, though only in his middle years, they imagined to be enormously aged and ever in need of their sup…

By Christian Butler-Zanetti

André Malraux: The Writer in Politics

  André Malraux [1901-75] is a writer whose stature has fallen perhaps now that his time is long gone. His reputation as a writer has to be considered with his life as a man of action. To some readers novels with titles like The Human Condition and Hope spoke of a pretension to grandeur. Multi-volume works like The Metamorphosis of the Gods aspired to explain the human condition in philo…

By Geoffrey Heptonstall

Making Haste Slowly

    The Intimate World of Josef Sudek, Jeu de Paume, Paris, 7 June – 25 September 2016 and The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa until 19 March 2017.   Josef Sudek (1896-1976) is the most internationally recognised Czech photographer. His life spanned a period of intense artistic activity and historical upheaval in the Czech lands, and both these forces decisively inf…

By Josef Sudek

The Upper River at Christmas

  It is late December, a mild midwinter’s day ------in the week that stumbles ------------between Christmas and New Year when from the Ferryman at Bablock Hythe --------we walk upriver to the Rose Revived ----------------following a broadening slate-grey curve. Not a leaf, no wintering geese --------but one swan, one heron, one coot, --------------and the blackthorn all stick…

By Virginia Astley

The Dreary Steeples Emerging Once Again

  Churchill and Ireland, Paul Bew, Oxford University Press, 2016, £16.99, (hardback)   Gladstone famously declared that he had a mission to pacify Ireland. His botched home rule legislation of the 1880s and I890s led not to peace, but to greater strife. As this superb book shows, Winston Churchill succeeded where Gladstone and all his successors had failed. No other British po…

By Alistair Lexden

My London

  Róisín Tierney is an Irish poet who taught for several years in Spain and Ireland. She is now settled in London. This is the nineteenth article in our regular series “My London”. As a blow-in from Dublin in 1985, London struck me as a tolerant, eccentric, deeply fascinating city. It was often grey but never boring, a hotchpotch of peoples and cultures. I felt as if I had fallen dow…

By Róisín Tierney

how to pronounce Peckham

  *After Nate Marshall’s Pronounce pĕk Fold your lips like uniform of de ... boy. Parents said it was when he was most happy so they buried him in it along with 24 classmates’ colouring pencils, not the right kind of stick that’ll keep at bay the jaw of news jingle: another one de … look … see how the mourning hangs in the air as if thick pollen and like all fevers not ever…

By Caleb Femi

Art in Majesty

  Italian Renaissance Courts: Art, Pleasure and Power, Alison Cole, Laurence King, 2016, £19.95 (hardcover)   There is a perception that the Renaissance was something that happened in Florence in the first couple of decades of the 1400s, thanks to the Medici. The Renaissance actually evolved from about 1300 to 1600, a part of what was to become known as humanism that looked ba…

By Simon Tait

Essays

Publishing the 'New'

  ‘It is very good of you to throw a pound into our jaws, when you know nothing of what you may get out of them. Mr Eliot is an American of the highest culture, so that his writing is almost unintelligible; Middleton Murry edits The Athenaeum, and is also very obscure. I mean you’ll have to shut your door and give yourself a quiet few days—not for Kew Gardens, though; that is as simple as …

By Jennifer Breen

Alexander Herzen in London

Decembrist blood! We are taxed for their visions. The earth turns, returns, through cycles of declamation - Geoffrey Hill, ‘Scenes with Harlequins’ 'There is no town in the world which is more adapted for training one away from people and training one into solitude than London. The manner of life, the distances, the climate, the very multitude of the population in which personality vanish…

By Tony Roberts

André Malraux: The Writer in Politics

  André Malraux [1901-75] is a writer whose stature has fallen perhaps now that his time is long gone. His reputation as a writer has to be considered with his life as a man of action. To some readers novels with titles like The Human Condition and Hope spoke of a pretension to grandeur. Multi-volume works like The Metamorphosis of the Gods aspired to explain the human condition in philo…

By Geoffrey Heptonstall

My London

  Róisín Tierney is an Irish poet who taught for several years in Spain and Ireland. She is now settled in London. This is the nineteenth article in our regular series “My London”. As a blow-in from Dublin in 1985, London struck me as a tolerant, eccentric, deeply fascinating city. It was often grey but never boring, a hotchpotch of peoples and cultures. I felt as if I had fallen dow…

By Róisín Tierney

Fiction

The Selkie

  October is dying quickly now. They bring me soup but I have no appetite. My skin is the colour of a dull, stale lemon. The door to my room is always open. I can sometimes hear the other people turn and shift in their beds. The doors of the red buses hiss in the street below. My limbs are not much more than a bundle of tent poles. I can see the tops of North London trees and beyond them…

By Steven O'Brien

Poetry

Poem in which my Mother is Monica Galetti

  I am a child. In our yellow kitchen before school she whistles breakf…

By Imogen Cassels

The Crossing

  ‘When any of the fugitives said, “Let me go over”, the men of Gilead s…

By Theophilus Kwek

Rua Do Olival (Street Point 17)

  And if she leant lonesome on the sill, they’re talking by their shops…

By Ronan Hyacinthe

A Literary Landscape

  Winter Migrants, Tom Pickard, Carcanet, 2016, 74pp, £9.99 (paperback) …

By Isabel Galleymore

I was walking

  that bit more quickly then less purposefully down a sunlit road that …

By Michael O'Neill

An Old Photograph, dated 1945

  My sister has found an old photograph Of me holding a bucket and spad…

By Heathcote Williams

The Table

  This red oak table has no memory. Its mother was a tree who needed e…

By Stanley Moss

Trucks

  The clouds shift past like overloaded trucks. It’s summer. We are sta…

By George Szirtes

Crickadarn

  From the top of the slope, among the desire lines of crows, looking …

By Barney Norris

Wooden Spoon

  Not knives or pans. The genius of a kitchen is the wooden spoon, that…

By Grevel Lindop

Tsunami-

  (Kho Phra Thong, 2004) We realise we are going to die. A rushing…

By George Tardios

Two Daughters

  There was once a widowed lord with two comely daughters. Though the lo…

By Christian Butler-Zanetti

The Upper River at Christmas

  It is late December, a mild midwinter’s day ------in the week that st…

By Virginia Astley

how to pronounce Peckham

  *After Nate Marshall’s Pronounce pĕk Fold your lips like unifor…

By Caleb Femi

Reviews

Oh, Brother

  Brother, Matthew Dickman and Michael Dickman, Faber & Faber, 2016, £10.99 (paperback) Syllabus of Errors, Troy Jollimore, Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets, 2015, £12.95 (paperback)   These two striking collections, taken together, illustrate the strengths and weaknesses within contemporary reworkings of certain defined modes of American verse. Brother, the book-le…

By Steven Matthews

Haunting Parallels

  The Face of the Buddha, William Empson, edited and introduced by Rupert Arrowsmith, Oxford University Press, 2016, 224 pp, 74 black and white illustrations, 25 colour plates, £30.00 (hardback)   In the days of typewriters, many book manuscripts only existed in one copy. Therefore, if this copy were mislaid, it might be gone forever, which nearly happened with William Empson’…

By Hal Swindall

The Korean Wave

  The Story of Hong Gildong, Anonymous, trans. Minsoo Kang, Penguin Classics, 2016, £9.99 (paperback)   Thirty minutes north west of Seoul, next to the Han River, is the government-sponsored Paju Book City, a sprawling office complex from where most of South Korea’s publishing industry – that makes a massive $2.7 billion per year – operates. The buildings, which are smart and …

By Claire Kohda Hazelton

Making Haste Slowly

    The Intimate World of Josef Sudek, Jeu de Paume, Paris, 7 June – 25 September 2016 and The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa until 19 March 2017.   Josef Sudek (1896-1976) is the most internationally recognised Czech photographer. His life spanned a period of intense artistic activity and historical upheaval in the Czech lands, and both these forces decisively inf…

By Josef Sudek

The Dreary Steeples Emerging Once Again

  Churchill and Ireland, Paul Bew, Oxford University Press, 2016, £16.99, (hardback)   Gladstone famously declared that he had a mission to pacify Ireland. His botched home rule legislation of the 1880s and I890s led not to peace, but to greater strife. As this superb book shows, Winston Churchill succeeded where Gladstone and all his successors had failed. No other British po…

By Alistair Lexden

Art in Majesty

  Italian Renaissance Courts: Art, Pleasure and Power, Alison Cole, Laurence King, 2016, £19.95 (hardcover)   There is a perception that the Renaissance was something that happened in Florence in the first couple of decades of the 1400s, thanks to the Medici. The Renaissance actually evolved from about 1300 to 1600, a part of what was to become known as humanism that looked ba…

By Simon Tait