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Strugnell's Haiku -- Wendy Cope

Another, errm, masterpiece of sorts from Jason Strugnell...
(Poem #693) Strugnell's Haiku

 The cherry blossom
 In my neighbour's garden - Oh!
 It looks really nice.


 The leaves have fallen
 And the snow has fallen and
 Soon my hair also...


 November evening:
 The moon is up, rooks settle,
 The pubs are open.
-- Wendy Cope
 From "Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis", first published in 1986.

 Poor Strugnell. The syllables number seventeen, properly arranged in a
5-7-5 pattern; the seasonal references are all present and accounted for;
why, there are even cherry blossoms and falling leaves and the winter

 ... and yet there's _something_ about his haiku that doesn't quite work. Oh


PS. <grin>

[Quoting from a previous encounter with Cope and Strugnell]

 This is but one of several works attributed by Wendy Cope to the
impressionable South London poet Jason Strugnell, whose misfortune has been
to fall under the all-too-obvious influence of one great poet after


 The said previous encounter was "Strugnell's Rubaiyat", which you can read
at poem #587

 The above page has a lot more material on parodies - analyses, links, the
works. Check it out!


 Today's poem is from "Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis", Cope's first book,
which I found at a bookstore just this afternoon. Quoting extensively from
the dust-jacket:

 ""Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis", Wendy Cope's first book, was an
immediate bestseller, delighting readers with its unconventional mixture of
satire, candid love poetry, and parody. It includes examples of work by
Jason Strugnell, the haplessly influenceable bard of Tulse Hill, as well as
poems in Wendy Cope's own voice...

 ... Wendy Cope was born in Erith, Kent. She was educated at Farringtons
School and read History at St Hilda's College, Oxford. After university she
worked for fifteen years as a primary-school teacher in London. In 1987 she
received the Cholmondeley Award for poetry and, in 1995, the American
Academy of Letters Michael Braude Award for Light Verse. She is now a
freelance writer. She has written another collection of verse, "Serious
Concerns", a book of rhymes for children, "Twiddling Your Thumbs", and a
long poem, "The River Girl", and she has edited an anthology of women's
poetry for teenagers, "Is That the New Moon?"."

     -- Dust-jacket of "Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis", Faber & Faber, 1986

[Bonus Poem]

 The collection's title poem is unskippable:

 "Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis"

 It was a dream I had last week
 And some kind of record seemed vital.
 I knew it wouldn't be much of a poem
 But I love the title.

     -- Wendy Cope

35 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

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Cope was born in Erith, Kent, and educated at Farringtons School, Chislehurst, London. Following her graduation from St Hilda's College, Cope spent fifteen years as a primary-school teacher. it is one of the most interesting thing in the world, she is a fabulous poet.

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