The latest collection of poems by Cornish poet, DM Thomas. the author of The White Hotel and Ararat.
DM Thomas is an internationally acclaimed novelist, poet and biographer. As well as numerous novels and poetry collections, he has written a children’s book about Flora Day, a prize-winning biography of Alexander Solzhenitsyn and a play, Hell Fire Corner about the life of Redruth rugby player Bert Solomon.
In Flight and Smoke, his first new collection of poems since Dear Shadows, D.M. Thomas blends the turbulent history of his time with his own personal history. With a rich and wide-ranging imagination and in a variety of forms he shows again that, besides being an acclaimed novelist, author of the iconic The White Hotel, he is also a first rate poet.
My soon-to-be fourth wife
is preparing for our first barbecue,
while my third wife
is taking out and packing books
she’d interwoven with mine
in alphabetical order.
Why is there always so much confusion?
My fourth wife is saying she brought twelve steak knives
from Canada, but now there are only nine.
I was hoping a certain poetry book
was mine, not my third wife’s. I think
the barbecue tongs we will be using
are really hers.
I wish my third wife could stay for the barbecue
but my fourth wife would object,
and maybe my third wife would too.
I wish my first wife’s second husband
would let her come to the barbecue,
and bring himself. My fourth wife
would be fine with that. Why are people
so unreasonable? I wish my second wife
wasn’t dead, but could come too.
But then she wouldn’t be happy with my third wife,
and my first wife not happy with my second.
I know my first wife would like my fourth wife.
Many hands make light work,
and I’m hopeless at this kind of thing –
getting the charcoal to light and
cooking chops, sausages and stuff.
About D.M. Thomas
D.M.Thomas, author of the iconic, bestselling novel The White Hotel, is also a distinguished poet, winner of a Cholmondeley award for poetry and the Orwell prize for his biography of Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
A fifty minute selection of his poetry, including poems from his two previous collections with Francis Boutle (Flight and Smoke and Two Countries), read by himself, can be downloaded from the Poetry Archive at poetryarchive.org