In the latest issue:

Botanic Macaroni

Steven Shapin

What made the Vikings tick?

Tom Shippey

In the Lab

Rupert Beale

Will there be a Brexit deal?

Anand Menon

Short Cuts: Under New Management

Rory Scothorne

Out-Tissoted

Bridget Alsdorf

Sarah Moss

Blake Morrison

Poem: ‘Country Music’

Ange Mlinko

On the Trail of Garibaldi

Tim Parks

Art Lessons

Peter Campbell

You’ll like it when you get there

Tom Crewe

Early Kermode

Stefan Collini

‘The Vanishing Half’

Joanna Biggs

At the Movies: ‘The Truth’

Michael Wood

The Suitcase: Part Two

Frances Stonor Saunders

Poem: ‘Siri U’

Jorie Graham

Diary: Getting into Esports

John Lanchester

Another DreamBrad Leithauser
Close
Close

             Unreckonable,
          the distance crossed to reach
       the dark before this lighted ledge no
     deeper than a bookshelf, holding a white beach
   with two live finger-puppet figures – but here
  you stand, stooping before them, nonetheless.
You’ve made it; lean closer; and surely, yes
that is the smell of brine ... And oh yes such
minute dioramic ingenuities! (as in
the way the kelp, long abandoned by the sea
as hopelessly tangled, comes with tiny, tinny flies
among its lichen-like salt-stain blossoms ...) She,

                 wearing nothing,
                evidently, under her
              powder-blue plastic raincoat,
            hunches by a driftwood fire, face so astir
          with reflections, one can’t help reading there
       a crystallising impulse to be elsewhere. He – well,
he’s another matter, isn’t he? Truth to tell,
thinking’s the furthest thing from his thoughts
as he tilts back on tiptoe till his spine cracks
satisfyingly, next assesses the ocean, section
by section, with a gaze that says: ‘All this,
too, coming my way – isn’t it perfection?’

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