Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis Paperback – 1 Apr 1986
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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. The title poem "Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis" was inspired by a dream apparently and the short four-line verse tells us no more. "Some kind of record seemed vital. / I knew it wouldn't be much of a poem / But I love the title." She tantalises but always stops short of deeper meaning. She mocks the rather pompous task of the Poet Laureate with her "All Purpose Poem for State Occasions": "The nation rejoices or mourns / As this happy or sombre day dawns." She slips into the bizarre persona of a policeman assigned to patrol the unconscious of Ted Hughes and parodies early reading books in an a-b a-b rhyme about an adulterous milkman: "Go Peter! Go Jane! Come milkman, come!" Her nursery rhymes in the style of Wordsworth ("Baa Baa Black Sheep") and T.S. Eliot ("Hickory Dickory Dock") are hilarious. It comes as quite a shock to come upon several serious poems, such as "On Finding an Old Photograph" in which she muses on her father before her birth and "all his sadness / and the things I didn't give him." The narrator of "Tich Miller" is bullied in school. "They usually chose me, the lesser dud / and she lolloped, unselected / to the back of the other team." There is little jauntiness in "At 3 a.m." in which the narrator imagines someone sleeping somewhere else with a woman next to him, crying quietly.
Most of Cope's poems confirm popular notions of what poetry should be--rhyming, accessible and direct. In "Rondeau Redouble", she's back laughing as though the hurt never happened at all. "There are so many kinds of awful men /One can't avoid them all. She often said / She'd never make the same mistake again: She always made a new mistake instead." --Cherry Smyth --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis is Wendy Cope's now classic debut collection of warm, wry, and often hilarious, verse.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
If I have any reservations at all about recommending this book, it is that those poems here which are *not* satirical (such as "Tich Miller") are not very good.Read more ›
That she chooses to do so with wickedly humour by parodying poetic forms and poets themselves (play the man, not the ball!) adds further emphasis to the moments of revelation unveiled with materful economy.
Mastery of technique is required to deliver first-rate parody, so it is to Cope's eternal credit that her skill is fulfilled with such a light touch. Cope's verse is charming but sly and frequently underestimated.
I’d highly recommend Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My copy had a different cover, Excellent condition, some page yellowing but very clean copy otherwise.Published 17 months ago by annie
I would really have loved to like this collection a whole lot more; unfortunately, it just did not stir me in any particular way. (And sorry, no pun intended).Published on 3 Mar. 2014 by Ms. Fiona Allen
I lent my signed copy to someone more than 20 years ago and have been missing it ever since. Am so pleased to have it back with or without Wendy Cope's signaturePublished on 30 Dec. 2013 by Oliver Cazorla
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. Read morePublished on 15 July 2010 by Katie Stevens
Thank heavens for Copes view of life and the tongue in cheek nature of these amusing poems. They certainly bring a bit of humour into the male/female debate and are often outright... Read morePublished on 3 Dec. 2009 by inch worm
If you're a fan of Wendy Cope's lighthearted and bathos-filled poetry then you'll definitely want to own this. Read morePublished on 1 May 2009 by Captain Pugwash