CONTEMPORARY POETS / 28. D J Enright

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The Independent Culture
Dennis Enright was born in the Midlands in 1920, and educated at Cambridge. For many years he lectured for the British Council abroad; he has also worked in publishing. His numerous poetry collections (unfailingly sardonic yet humane) include Sad Ires and The Terrible Shears. His new one, Old Men and Comets, will be published in November 1993.

----------------------------------------------------------------- ELECTION ----------------------------------------------------------------- No longer able to tell one from another, Or the real face from the caricature . . . But he trundles off to the polling station, A church round the corner. They have screened off the altar, Jesus isn't standing on this occasion. He stares at the ballot paper. 'What] No NSPCC, no RSPCA, Not even RIP to vote for] It's a crying shame, a stigma, That I should live to see the day]' They ask him please to leave. Such language] (Drunk at this hour, at his age]) 'The only party I would ever trust Is the one that doesn't want to govern]' They exchange small smiles And tap their heads discreetly. As he perceives, and chooses to ignore; He has done his duty. -----------------------------------------------------------------

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