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Wendy Cope

Some poems by Wendy Cope

Flowers
The Orange
Manifesto
Giving Up Smoking
Bloody Men
Leaving

 Flowers
By Wendy Cope

Some men never think of it. 
You did. You’d come along 
And say you’d nearly brought me flowers 
But something had gone wrong. 

The shop was closed. Or you had doubts— 
The sort that minds like ours 
Dream up incessantly. You thought 
I might not want your flowers. 

It made me smile and hug you then. 
Now I can only smile. 
But, look, the flowers you nearly brought 
Have lasted all this while. 

(Back to the top)

 ♥

The Orange
By Wendy Cope

At lunchtime I bought 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. 

And 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 jobs on my list 
And enjoyed them and had some time over. 
 I love you. I’m glad I exist. 

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Manifesto
By Wendy Cope

I’ll work, for there’s new purpose in my art— 
I’ll muster all my talent, all my wit 
And write the poems that will win your heart. 

Pierced by a rusty allegoric dart, 
What can I do but make the best of it? 
 I’ll work, for there’s new purpose in my art. 

 You’re always on my mind when we’re apart— 
 I can’t afford to daydream, so I’ll sit 
And write the poems that will win your heart. 

I am no beauty but I’m pretty smart 
And I intend to be your favourite— 
I’ll work, for there’s new purpose in my art. 

And if some bloodless literary fart 
Says that it’s all too personal, I’ll spit 
And write the poems that will win your heart. 

I feel terrific now I’ve made a start— 
I’ll have another book before I quit. 
I’ll work, for there’s new purpose in my art, 
And write the poems that will win your heart. 

(Back to the top)

 ♥

Giving Up Smoking
By Wendy Cope

There’s not a Shakespeare sonnet 
Or a Beethoven quartet 
That’s easier to like than you 
Or harder to forget. 

You think that sounds extravagant? 
I haven’t finished yet— 
I like you more than I would like 
To have a cigarette. 

(Back to the top)

 ♥

Bloody Men
By Wendy Cope

Bloody men are like bloody buses— 
You wait for about a year 
And as soon as one approaches your stop 
Two or three others appear. 

You look at them flashing their indicators, 
 Offering you a ride. 
You’re trying to read the destinations, 
You haven’t much time to decide. 

If you make a mistake, there is no turning back. 
Jump off, and you’ll stand there and gaze 
While the cars and the taxis and lorries go by 
And the minutes, the hours, the days. 

(Back to the top)

Leaving
By Wendy Cope

 Next summer? The summer after? 
With luck we’ve a few more years 
 Of sunshine and drinking and laughter 
And airports and goodbyes and tears. 

(Back to the top)

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