Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Incomparable Wendy Cope

I saw one of my writing heroes today: Wendy Cope gave a reading at the John Clare cottage near Peterborough. I like her wry humour very much, and the way she mixes it with serious (even dark) subject matter is the model I try to follow.

She didn’t include much anecdote or background (her poetry is certainly intelligible without it), and my friends thought she could have made more effort to connect with the audience. I imagine it’s tricky though – since her poetry is so accessible she is often dismissed as a non-serious poet, and perhaps a chattier style would exacerbate that. In her situation I would probably ham it up more — but then, I would need to, in order to distract people from the quality of my verse. She lets hers stand alone.

In other news, I got a poem into the competition in the September issue of Lighten Up Online! But sadly my poem about the Olympic torch relay was rejected. And now that even the Paralympics are ending, it seems hopelessly out of date. That’ll teach me to write about current events.

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