‘A Green Song – to sing at the bottle bank’ by poet Wendy Cope

Have you come across Wendy Cope’s poetry? If not then I highly recommend you search her out and have a read of some of her engaging, personal, quirky poetry, ESPECIALLY if you are not a poetry fan. She may convert you.

Wendy Cope at the Hay Festival - Telegraph image

Wendy Cope at the Hay Festival – Telegraph image

Wendy Cope OBE  has published four collections of poetry and parodies. Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis (1986) went straight into the best seller lists. Serious Concerns followed in 1992, If I Don’t Know in 2001, and Family Values in 2011. In 1998, she was voted the listeners’ choice in a BBC Radio 4 poll to succeed Ted Hughes as Poet Laureate She was also a popular candidate when Andrew Motion‘s term as Poet Laureate came to an end in 2009. (Apparently she thinks the post should be abolished.) If you get a chance to hear her read at a literary festival or other event. take it.

'Serious Concerns' by poet Wendy CopeI was given  ‘Serious Concerns’ a couple of years ago and love its funny, thought-provoking poetic gems on relationships and the everyday quirks of English life. As you may know, I live very near William Wordsworth territory in the Lake District. He is revered up here so I was delighted to find a riposte by her to his much quoted ’emotion recollected in tranquility’ from the Preface to the Lyrical Ballads, which ends, ‘Sometimes poetry is emotion recollected in a highly emotional state.’ Here’s one of my favourites.

A Green Song
(to sing at the bottle-bank)

Wine Bottle Bank Mural - image galleryhip.com

Wine Bottle Bank Mural – image galleryhip.com

One green bottle,
Drop it in the bank.
Ten green bottles,
What a lot we drank.
Heaps of bottles
And yesterday’s a blank.
But we’ll save the planet,
Tinkle, tinkle, clank!

We’ve got bottles –
Nice, percussive trash.
Bags of bottles
Cleaned us out of cash.
Empty bottles,
We love to hear them smash
And we’ll save the planet,
Tinkle, tinkle, crash!

By Wendy Cope (from anthology ‘Serious Concerns’)

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One response to “‘A Green Song – to sing at the bottle bank’ by poet Wendy Cope

  1. If you enjoyed that poem, you might like this one from the same anthology, related as you can see …

    “The day he moved out was terrible –
    That evening she went through hell.
    His absence wasn’t a problem
    But the corkscrew had gone as well.”

    Like

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