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


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


Rosehips or Hagebutten
As I grew up calling them
Haggard buttons they sound like
Though in fact appear brighter
Altogether more cherubic
Tough in the cheek like a forced smile
Hanging on till it cracks
The colour of tomato and mascarpone

Flourished thornily beside the bicycle path
Running along the carefully displaced
One on top of the other slightly
Wonky seaside rocks interspersed
By sand and reed and the sandy towels
Wet books hot suntan cream bottles
Attracting flies around the cap
And sunbathers seaweed footed

Turning their pink spots away
From the sun can be eaten
Peel first and only the thin flesh
Mincing in the mouth as the tip
Of your own tongue and although
The clustered seeds at the core
Itch indigestibly a slight forbearance
And the gift for contenting

Oneself with surfaces only
After the broad deep salt of the sea
Swum in or sailed in a faceful
Of spray (particularly for those
Bowriders and jibmen serving
Under the captain dry hooking
The rudder under his armpit)
Sweeten the mineral savour

Of the world before you spit them out.

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