Sunday, 17 November 2013

Exchange of Letters by Wendy Cope

                                   Exchange of Letters

‘Man who is a serious novel would like to hear from a woman who is a poem’ (classified advertisement, New York Review of Books)


I am a terse, assured lyric with impeccable rhythmic flow, some apt and original metaphors, and a music that is all my own. Some people say I am beautiful.

My vital statistics are eighteen lines, divided into three-line stanzas, with an average of four words per line.

My first husband was a cheap romance; the second was Wisden’s Cricketers’ Almanac. Most of the men I meet nowadays are autobiographies, but a substantial minority are books about photography or trains.

I have always hoped for a relationship with an upmarket work of fiction. Please write and tell me more about yourself.

                                                              Yours intensely,
                                                   Song of the First Snowdrop

The Oxford Book of Satirical Verse, ed. by Geoffrey Grigson (Oxford, New York, Toronto, Melbourne: Oxford UP, 1980), 467.

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