Vol. 12 No. 11 · 14 June 1990
One is of course unshockable nowadays. But should the relatively small space devoted to poems each week in the LRB be filled with grotesqueries such as appeared in your issue of 24 May? Ms Pitt-Kethley’s nauseating comments on the smokers she takes to bed with her are not merely unbelievably nasty in their implications, but sick – an insult to your women readers, to the men they like and admire, and to a tradition of poetry that can accommodate John Wilmot, but prefers Andrew Marvell. By these standards Mr Mark Ford’s two banal exhibits are not poetry at all.