Annunciation: A new poem by Anthony Thwaite

Anthony Thwaite

Why was he here
Filling the room
With light, and fear
Filling her womb?
What was he saying
Under his wings
As she was praying?
Impossible things:
Promise of birth,
God as the father,
Heaven on earth
In human feature . . .
What could she say
But bow her head
As he went away
With so much not said.

“My soul doth magnify . . .”
She whispered there,
“The Lord have mercy”
In the bright air.

An autumn note

“For many, the end of this uneasy year cannot come quickly enough”

An ordinary killing

Ian Cobain’s book uses the killing of Millar McAllister to paint a meticulous portrait of the Troubles

Greater—not wiser

John Mullan elucidates the genius of Charles Dickens