Family Values, By Wendy Cope

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The Independent Culture

Strangers smile at the book I'm reading.

Has Wendy Cope got National Treasure

status?

For wise words writ on life and breeding

And women and the men who care to date us.



Has Wendy Cope got National Treasure

status?

Or is it that my changing face amuses as I read

Of women and the men who deign to date us

And families whose value is dramatically

varied?



My face betrays a gamut of emotion as I read.

Critics make much of her move to soften

On escape from that family whose worth

varied

And, ages later, getting all loved-up with

Lachlan.



Critics make much of her move to soften,

But she's always offered us a range of

acidity,

Good for her – loved-up with Lachlan;

White wine in the garden and increased

fear of morbidity.



She has always offered us a range of acidity,

This one, in its latter pages, features some

commissions.

White wine in the garden, increased fear of

morbidity

Joins comment on the BBC and classical

musicians!



This one, in its latter pages, features some

commissions.

Wendy please keep writing and do not retire

or die.

Villanelling, trioleting better than musicians,

Your verses teach us lots of rules that poets

can apply.



Wendy please do not retire or die.

It's clear you sometimes harbour thoughts

of doom.

Your poems teach me which rules to apply.

That's how I learned to order this pantoum.



This new book seems to harbour thoughts

of doom

And allusions to your challenging

upbringing.

Through beautiful free verses and pantoum,

You address past love, nature and Christmas

singing.



Safe allusions to your challenging upbringing

Now your mum did from this mortal coil

depart.

You address past love, nature and Christmas

singing,

Female vicars, 9/11, matters of the heart.



Till should you, by necessity, this mortal coil

depart

Take comfort that your writing will survive

for perpetuity.

I'll help keep your name alive – I know each

book by heart

And quote the verse to anyone at every

opportunity.



Keep topping up the canon you've bestowed

for perpetuity;

Those wise words you write on life and

breeding.

I quote your verse to anyone at every

opportunity

And strangers smile at the book I'm reading...

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