I’m posting this one just to show that poetry doesn’t always have to be serious and sad. Also because Wendy Cope deserves publicity, if for no other reason than that she is probably the only poet to mention places like Tulse Hill and Brockwell Park in her work.

A Nursery Rhyme (as it might have been written by William Wordsworth)

The skylark and the jay sang loud and long,
The sun was calm and bright, the air was sweet,
When all at once I heard above the throng
Of jocund birds a single plaintive bleat.

And, turning, saw, as one sees in a dream,
It was a Sheep had broke the moorland peace
With his sad cry, a creature who did seem
The blackest thing that ever wore a fleece.

I walked towards him on the stony track
And, pausing for a while between two crags,
I asked him, “Have you wool upon your back?”
Thus he bespake, “Enough to fill three bags.”

Most courteously, in measured tones, he told
Who would receive each bag and where they dwelt;
And oft, now years have passed and I am old,
I recollect with joy that inky pelt.

Wendy Cope (from Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis, 1986)

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