In the latest issue:

Boris Johnson’s First Year

Ferdinand Mount

Short Cuts: In the Bunker

Thomas Jones

Theban Power

James Romm

What can the WHO do?

James Meek

At the Type Archive

Alice Spawls

Where the Poor Lived

Alison Light

At the Movies: ‘Da 5 Bloods’

Michael Wood

Cultural Pillaging

Neal Ascherson

Jenny Offill

Adam Mars-Jones

Shakespeare v. the English

Michael Dobson

Poem: ‘Now Is the Cool of the Day’

Maureen N. McLane

Tativille

David Trotter

Consider the Hare

Katherine Rundell

How Should I Refer to You?

Amia Srinivasan

Poem: ‘Field Crickets (Gryllus campestris)’

Fiona Benson

Diary: In Mali

Rahmane Idrissa

Two PoemsHugh Williams
Close
Close

My Lady’s Fingertips

Her long red fingernails have gone
Down the kitchen sink and drain,
But varnished and scarlet they’ll reappear
   At the close of this campaign,
Encircling, as of old, my heart
And glasses of champagne
To live happily ever after
   The close of this campaign.
And to mark the spot where now I see
A horrible chilblain
I’ll set a stone from Cartier’s
   At the close of this campaign.

To a Red Carnation

My love and I, we used to go
Down Bond Street for a stroll.
We sauntered slowly past the shops,
Leisurely towards our goal,
Which was generally The Berkeley
For a pint of Monopole.
And on the way we used to stop
To buy my buttonhole.

But that was all some time ago –
Two summers and a spring –
Before the florist’s shop was bombed
and the Blitz was in full swing.
My red carnation’s disappeared,
You cannot wear the thing
Pinned to the uniform
Of His Majesty the King.

So my love and I will wait a while
To buy my buttonhole,
And once again look in the shops
Of Bond Street as we stroll.
Back to the Berkeley we shall come,
But Berlin is now the goal.
What’s the Hotel Adlon like?
Will they have Monopole?

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