Review: ‘Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis’ by Wendy Cope

By oldenglishrose - Last updated: Friday, August 20, 2010 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

Wendy Cope is very clever. She’s good at taking much of what poetry holds dear and pricking its balloon. Her humour is an acquired taste and one short poem from “Strugnell’s Haiku” sets the tone of this volume, first published in 1986, to great popular acclaim. “The leaves have fallen / And the snow has fallen and / Soon my hair also …” a perfect haiku in form and perfectly ridiculous. This is her raison d’etre, to highlight the absurd in love, sex, courtship and in the sometimes stuffy, self-righteous literary poetry world.  (Goodreads Summary)

This was a wonderful little collection of poems from a delightful poet. I loved the literary parodies and the way she pokes fun at the things people take too seriously. Her use of bathos is just perfect and I often found myself laughing out loud. Although the majority of the poems in this book are humorous they contain kernels of wisdom and grains of truth, and the overall comic tone of the collection makes the few serious poems seem all the more serious by comparison. Definitely not a book to read on the train, although having read Cope’s poem on the subject, I now know that this would be the perfect way to make sure I get a seat.

Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis by Wendy Cope.  Published by Faber and Faber, 1999, pp. 61.  Originally published in 1986.

N.B. This is an old review written in 2010 and posted on Goodreads and LibraryThing before I started keeping track of all the books I read here at Old English Rose Reads.  I’ve decided to keep copies here so that this remains a complete record of my reading since I started reviewing books for my own pleasure.

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