D.M. Thomas

A Love Letter from Larkin | Chemotherapy
January 23, 2017 Thomas D.M.

A Love Letter from Larkin


Dearest, while waiting for my cheese to melt

I think of you and listen to Bechet.

We seem to be less close. It’s all my fault.


The crocuses, your nice blue frock… I felt,

as you write, dear, we had a lovely day.

Recalling you, your marvellous legs, I melt.


I wonder is it true that ‘if the salt…?’

England fought back well by the close of play–

were you listening? That run-out!   Compton’s fault.


Those swine have turned their wireless up. I’d bolt,

but where to?   Maeve’s at the library,

I can’t go there. This blasted cheese won’t melt.


I’m just a clumsy oaf, a cowardly dolt

who would be helpless if you went away,

yet seem to feel less close. It’s all my fault.


Yes, I did like your red suspender belt.

I’m sorry you’re so down. What can I say?

How can I make things easier? Ah, the melt!

Do you feel we’re less close? It’s all my fault.






She surprised me

over her fragile meal, picked over,

when she said, ‘Don’t tell me if Murray won or lost

I want to watch it.’


She’s never been interested

in any sport, apart from ice skating.

But she explained

she could watch tennis on her laptop in bed,

and it didn’t matter if she drowsed

in and out,

because it just went back and forth

indeterminately until

seemingly by chance

with one stroke

someone won

or lost.

D.M. Thomas is a British novelist and poet. He was awarded the Los Angeles Times Fiction prize for his novel The White Hotel, an international bestseller, translated into 30 languages; a Cholmondeley award for poetry; and the Orwell Prize for his biography of Alexander Solzhenitsyn. He lives in his native Cornwall, England. His most recent work is Vintage Ghosts, a verse novel (Francis Boutle, 2012).