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Mrs. Thatcher -- Sue Townsend

(Poem #1609) Mrs. Thatcher
 Do you weep, Mrs Thatcher, do you weep?
 Do you wake, Mrs Thatcher, in your sleep?
 Do you weep like a sad willow?
 On your Marks and Spencer's pillow?
 Are your tears molten steel?
 Do you weep?
 Do you wake with 'Three million' on your brain?
 Are you sorry that they'll never work again?
 When you're dressing in your blue, do you see the waiting queue?
 Do you weep, Mrs Thatcher, do you weep?
-- Sue Townsend
Notes: In the voice of Adrian Mole, from "The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole,
        Aged 13 3/4" (or, possibly, "Growing Pains" - I don't have my copy handy)

  "Unemployment soon passed three million, a figure unthinkable just a few
  years beforehand. This economic crisis sparked deep rivalry in the cabinet
  and triggered a number of high profile resignations."

Writing bad fictional poets is a delicate and seldom-mastered art. It is not
enough to write bad poetry - the poetry has to be *convincingly* bad, and
bad in such a way as to let the reader sympathise with the "poet" who
doubtless thought it one of his masterpieces. (Quoth the young master Mole,
"I think my poem is extremely brilliant. It is the sort of poem that could
bring the government to its knees.")

Above all, one should never get the impression that the author is
self-consciously writing a bad poem. Douglas Adams fell into this trap, for
instance, with his Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings poem about the dead swans,
which definitely detracted from it. Luckily, Townsend makes no such mistake;
her Adrian Mole poems are uniformly brilliant, the kind of bad poetry that
gets written by your angsty high school classmate, except that they somehow
manage to be hilariously funny as well. ("Mrs. Thatcher" is actually a pretty
good poem compared to the rest of the collection - indeed, the reason I
chose to run it rather than some of the more egregiously bad poems is that I
find it surprisingly memorable and fun to recite to myself.)



More about the Adrian Mole books
  [broken link]

(and if you haven't read them, I strongly urge you to - the first few, in
particular, are altogether brilliant). There's a great review here:
  [broken link] of Townsend:

50 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

William Grey said...

This looks like a song -- or perhaps recitative. It more or less fits 'Just
You Wait' from Lerner and Loewe's 'My Fair Lady'.

William Grey

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