In the latest issue:

Loathed by Huysmans

Julian Barnes

Too early or too late?

David Runciman

Short Cuts: Five Victorian Marriages

Tom Crewe

Society as a Broadband Network

William Davies

Indefinite Lent

Thomas Jones

In 1348

James Meek

The House of York

John Guy

At the Movies: Pasolini’s ‘Teorema’

Michael Wood

Secrets are like sex

Neal Ascherson

Poem: ‘The Bannisters’

Paul Muldoon

Clarice Lispector

Rivka Galchen

Marius Petipa

Simon Morrison

At the Foundling Museum: ‘Portraying Pregnancy’

Joanne O’Leary

Caroline Gordon v. Flannery O’Connor

Rupert Thomson

Revism

Joe Dunthorne

Poem: ‘The Reach of the Sea’

Maureen N. McLane

Diary: Where water used to be

Rosa Lyster

How to set up an ICU

Lana Spawls

An Avuncular RequestEric Winter
Close
Close
Vol. 15 No. 10 · 27 May 1993
Poem

An Avuncular Request

Eric Winter

135 words

Does anybody know where
one can get a decent eunuch
these days?
Baggy pants, scimitar, turned-up toes,
are of no consequence.
I only want a big one, strong,
to handle boxes
of feminist writing
and not to find the exercise exciting.

He is to be companion
to a lady among Leavisites
and read to her my book of Larkin poems;
old Oxford toad
is staid enough
but, even he, there is a risk,
if seen through high windows,
might be a bit shocking
to some new blue-stocking.

He should be skilled,
this eunuch chap,
in making tea and toast,
and keeping hot the water bot.
He will, in general, ‘Do’ for her,
and guard her when she goes out on the High
in case she might, naively, buy
something sexy or deathly
by Fiona Pitt-Kethley.

Send Letters To:

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

letters@lrb.co.uk

Please include name, address, and a telephone number.

Letters

Vol. 15 No. 14 · 22 July 1993

Re E. Winter’s nunclish poem and your letters column passim:
Rhyme’s dry couplings find G. Ewart even hard put to surpass him,
The solitary substitute for the copulative ‘deathly’
Being nothing but a wet weekend (and dirty) in Llanelli.
But surely it is time to cap, put an end to, this lubricity
And starve Ms F. Pitt-Kethley of the oxygen of pubicity?

This short epistle puzzled but ejaculated pithily
I sign paronomastically, sincerely, and Stan-Smithily.

Stan Smith
Dundee University

send letters to

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

letters@lrb.co.uk

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