Love Poems You Wish You Had Written #1: with Wendy Cope

Two Cures for Love Wendy CopeI haven’t posted anything recently about Poetry Under the Paintings, and since I just sent out the announcement for the Valentine’s edition to my local Facebook poets and poetry lovers, I thought I’d pass along to you the video I included for them. It’s one that I recorded on YouTube three years ago, but had never uploaded to the blog. In fact I had accidentally kept it marked private until after Valentine’s day that year, so I’m not sure how long it sulked alone in obscurity before I marked it public and it started getting views.

I made a few tweaks, cut out an intro that was too long, and now include it for you below, along with two other poems by Wendy Cope. She’s something of a poetic sprite at spoofing other poets, and their poems, and she brings a welcoming and comfortable playfulness to traditional forms. This one makes reference to the bargaining of hearts in Sir Philip Sydney‘s sonnet “Song From Arcadia.” You’ll recognize it from your 11th grade English lit class, I promise you. Wendy’s parody is written in the voice of the fictitious poet Jason Strugnell who writes for her in her collection Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis.

And since the piece is a love poem, or perhaps an anti-love poem (which for some is even more appropriate for Valentines Day), I thought we should include a few more from this poet. The second video is from the king of online poetry readers, Tom O’Bedlam, of YouTube’s SpokeVerse channel. You’ll probably recognize his deep, distinctive voice. He’s got a brilliant knack for picking the right poems to record, and he’s been damned kind and helpful to me. His channel is a wealth of audio for poetry buffs, educators and lovers of the spoken word. If you haven’t already, please spend some time enjoying his work. You’ll thank me.

The third and final video selection is of Wendy Cope herself reading an approachable, but much more serious poem entitled “Spared,” from her Two Cures for Love collection. This time I have included the WorldCat.org link so that you can look for the book in your local library, or failing to find it, encourage them to pick up a copy for their shelves.

The Poetry Under the Paintings crowd usually meets at Faustina’s Gallery in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania on the second Thursday of each month at 7:00 pm. If you’re in central Pennsylvania, call the art gallery for more information. They are a lovely, welcoming bunch.

More love poems, serious, spiteful and silly coming soon.

Song from Arcadia: “My True Love Hath My Heart”
Sir Phillip Sydney

My true-love hath my heart and I have his,
By just exchange one for the other given:
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss;
There never was a bargain better driven.
His heart in me keeps me and him in one;
My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides:
He loves my heart, for once it was his own;
I cherish his because in me it bides.
His heart his wound received from my sight;
My heart was wounded with his wounded heart;
For as from me on him his hurt did light,
So still, methought, in me his hurt did smart:
Both equal hurt, in this change sought our bliss,
My true love hath my heart and I have his.

 

31 Comments Add yours

  1. Oh I enjoyed those! I love Wendy Cope. 😀

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    1. sonofwalt says:

      I’m so happy to hear that! It’s five hours behind you here. This blogger needs to go to bed. I’m so glad we got to meet up first. Have a great day, Tilly!

      Like

    2. I’ve just realised – it’s 4:15 in the morning where you are – get to bed! NOW!

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    3. sonofwalt says:

      *Ducks and runs*

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    4. Stop playing with the ducks and get into bed 🙂

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    5. bryan says:

      i need help guys, what is the tone in the peom ” an agry valentine” it has to be a para graph with 3 examples plzz anyone helppp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Like

  2. keatsbabe says:

    I love Wendy Cope’s work. She is sometimes seen as a humorous poet but even those poems that seem short and funny have real human dilemmas at their core. Great choices. I think I might use this idea for my blog as we come up to Valentine’s Day. Would you mind if I pinched it? We could compare choices….

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    1. sonofwalt says:

      Yes, I found much depth in her short and pithy works, and a review or two that seemed to not “get” that. Feel free to lift whatever you fancy. I’d love to see what you come up with. 🙂

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  3. slpmartin says:

    A most enjoyable start to my day with these videos….thanks much.

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    1. sonofwalt says:

      Glad to do my part! 🙂

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  4. OMG, look what I’ve been missing out on! You’ve introduced me to TWO essential poets lately–Richard Blanco and Wendy Cope. Very different from each other, and both delightful. Thanks for these excellent readings (I especially enjoy what you’ve done with “Strugnell’s Bargain”).

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    1. sonofwalt says:

      Aw, thank you! That was such a fun one to read! I have a William Stafford poem coming up soon. And I’m really glad you enjoyed Cope and Blanco. They were great discoveries for me too.

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  5. So happy to have another new poet to dig into. She’s marvelous! Thanks.

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    1. sonofwalt says:

      I’m so glad! Thanks!

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  6. John says:

    I’ve never heard of Ms Cope, until now. Thank you for the intro: she’s wonderful!

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    1. sonofwalt says:

      Thank you, John. It really does make my day when I find things like that out, hearing that I introduced someone to a new artist, and that it brightened some part of someone’s day. 🙂 Very gratifying.

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  7. Me says:

    Wendy Cope’s poem “The Orange” is one of my alltime Top Ten faves, but I hadn’t read these other ones before. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. sonofwalt says:

      Oooh! I will look up “The Orange!” Thanks for the tip. 🙂

      Like

    2. Me says:

      Hope you like it! It is one that I come back to again and again, and it never fails. 🙂

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    3. Just pulled it up. Will read it right after work. 🙂 Thanks!

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    4. I just read “The Orange” and it’s simply delightful! For anyone else following this thread, check it out here: http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php?date=2000/12/06

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  8. Pingback: The Dad Poet
  9. angryricky says:

    Hearing the Sidney sonnet in a man’s voice (even if only in my head) makes me feel tremendously satisfied.

    Like

    1. sonofwalt says:

      Ah, yes, I concur. Of course, I think it’s interesting that in his poem he keeps the “his.” I suppose this was tradition, in the way of Shakespeare’s Young Man poems, and yet there are plenty of sonnets who specifically mention females as objects of affection. But in Wendy’s poem, read by a female she changes it to “hers.” Hmmm just part of the mirroring?

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