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Saturday, July 31, 2021

'Write What You Have To Write'

“I always tell students that writing a poem and publishing it are two quite separate things, and you should write what you have to write, and if you're afraid it's going to upset someone, don't publish it.”  Wendy Cope


Cope, born in England in July 1945, has attracted a popular following with her lighthearted, often comical poetry.  Named an Officer of the British Empire (entitling her to be addressed as Dame Wendy), she is far from expressing herself as royalty when writing her poems.  In fact, she has been lauded for her keen eye for the everyday, mundane aspects of English life, especially the desires, frustrations, hopes, confusions and emotions in intimate relationships.  



She also writes for kids, focusing on their hopes, dreams and frustrations.  For Saturday’s Poem, here’s just one of the dozens and dozens of clever Wendy Cope poems that I’ve loved reading over the years. 

The Orange


At lunchtime I brought a huge orange –

The size of it made us all laugh.

I peeled it and shared it with Robert and Dave –

They got quarters, and I had a half.


That orange, it made me so happy,

As ordinary things often do

Just lately.  The shopping.  A walk in the park.

This is peace and contentment.  It’s new.


The rest of the day was quite easy,

I did all the things on my list

And enjoyed them, and had some time over.

I love you.  I’m glad I exist.


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