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Next Issue CELEBRATING JOHN ASHBERY Contributors include Mark Ford, Marina Warner, Jeremy Over, Theophilus Kwek, Sam Riviere, Luke Kennard, Philip Terry,Agnes Lehoczky, Emily Critchley, Oli Hazard and others Miles Champion The Gold Standard Rebecca Watts The Cult of the Noble Amateur Marina Tsvetaeva ‘My desire has the features of a woman’: Two Letters translated by Christopher Whyte Iain Bamforth Black and White

This poem is taken from PN Review 36, Volume 10 Number 4, March - April 1984.

The Goodbyes John Ash
1 Again, the weather's wrecked the picnic.
  All those drenched frocks,
  tomato slices in flooded bowls -

  so English! the clouds, the downpour
  as evasive terms
  for a continuing epic of bad faith
  and commonplace ill-feeling. . . .

2 Yes, something has changed
  irreversibly. It speaks out of silence
  like a radio announcer
  off-cue. Time to remove the varnish? Yes. . . .

3 All departures cancelled:
  the pillars in the painting are grey
  and the sails of fishing boats
  drawn in with no hope of unfurling, -
  blue cranes of the container-depot
...


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