“Emily Dickinson” by Wendy Cope

My friend loaned me Helen Vendler’s new book,  Dickinson: Selected Poems and Commentaries, which I’ve started reading with the kind of serious pleasure I usually bring to learning about something I love from someone who knows far more about it than I do. But I’ve been feeling excessively serious lately, and therefore searching for less serious pleasures, so I was pretty happy when I found a used copy of Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis by the British poet Wendy Cope in the used department before my shift today.

Cope has written a lot of books, and this (published in 1986) was one of her earliest. Last week I read a poem of hers called “The Uncertainty of the Poet” which I really liked, and that prompted me to go searching for her. Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis, which I’ve owned for all of eleven hours now, is pretty delightful. The title poem is great, and a couple of the other ones made me laugh out loud and want to show them to people (which I did, and they laughed too). Here’s a sample.

Emily Dickinson

Higgledy-piggledy
Emily Dickinson
Liked to use dashes
Instead of full stops.

Nowadays, faced with such
Idiosyncrasy,
Critics and editors
Send for the cops.

~ Wendy Cope

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2 thoughts on ““Emily Dickinson” by Wendy Cope

  1. Pingback: Spotlight on the Wordpress.Com Book Bloggers! « Randomize ME

  2. Emily Dickinson higgledy piggledy dash!

    This poem was hovering fragilely on the edge of my memory, on the same shelf as bored summers afternoon English lessons with endearingly incompetent teachers, so I googled it and arrived here. Doesn’t live up to the pristine memory I have of it, but what does..

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