In the latest issue:

An Ordinary Woman

Alan Bennett

Anglo-America Loses its Grip

Pankaj Mishra

Short Cuts: John Bolton’s Unwitting Usefulness

Mattathias Schwartz

Smells of Hell

Keith Thomas

Mrs Oliphant

Tom Crewe

Tippett’s Knack

Philip Clark

At Tate Modern: Steve McQueen

Colin Grant

Catherine Lacey

Nicole Flattery

Churchill’s Cook

Rosemary Hill

The ‘Batrachomyomachia’

Ange Mlinko

On Dorothea Lange

Joanna Biggs

Paid to Race

Jon Day

Poem: ‘Traveller’s Tales: Chapter 90’

August Kleinzahler

The Soho Alphabet

Andrew O’Hagan

Old Tunes

Stephen Sedley

Victor Serge’s Defective Bolshevism

Tariq Ali

The Murdrous Machiavel

Erin Maglaque

Diary: Insane after coronavirus?

Patricia Lockwood

Gypsy MothJon Silkin

A Gypsy Moth holds a castle of bruised rose
in its sights, the engine beating like a moth’s wings,
but the moths beat against or tumble over
the walls, across beams of light, on glass,
and in the windows – their sensors,
their furred heads, winged bodies with a burning sense
of the bulbs naked over the readers.
Lightly they wipe their webbed flesh
on our cheekbones, and we imagine
ourselves winged.

The Gypsy Moth’s self-enchanted drawl,
its music in two notes of self, regarding self,
throbs in the pilot. Satisfaction
secretes over face, mind
and brain, until he is aglow
to do it, to bomb. The readers rejoice
their arrowy targets in the castle tossing spires
through a Gypsy Moth’s night sounds.

I hear the Moth on its tarmac, I rejoice
and dream, but imagine death, my head
huge and burned as a moth’s. In a field
by the glade furring the gorge, a farmer
sprinkles Shell’s nonchalant toxin,
friendless friend, hearing the Esk splash.

Send Letters To:

The Editor
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN

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