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Sunday, 17 February 2013

Flowers by Wendy Cope

This post is especially for All Consuming. But of course anyone is very welcome to comment!
Wendy Cope. Born England 1945.(www.goodreads.com)
Flowers

Some men never think of it.
You did. You’d come along
And say you’d nearly brought me flowers
But something had gone wrong.

The shop was closed. Or you had doubts —
The sort that minds like ours
Dream up incessantly. You thought
I might not want your flowers.

It made me smile and hug you then.
Now I can only smile.
But, look, the flowers you nearly brought
Have lasted all this while.

From Serious Concerns, Faber & Faber, 1992

Wendy Cope is the kind of poet whom it is easy to dismiss as lightweight or superficial but I would like to make the case that she is neither of those things. Although clothed in humour and wit, her words carry the weight of gravitas and of more serious matters. She cleverly uses the easy appeal to make a point, often about men: Men are like bloody buses-/ You wait for about a year/ And as soon as one approaches your stop/ Two or three others appear.
The poem centres around the themes of remembrance and intentions that were never carried out and there is a deep underlying sadness present. I think it is saying that the thought counts as much, or more, than the deed. The last stanza is heart-breakingly poignant.
You can watch Wendy reading this poem here

12 comments:

flowersonline24 said...

Your flowers poem is very interesting. I like it.

martine said...

Thanks for sharing the poem, and your thoughts. You are right, people do often forget that humour can hide a serious intent. I have one of her books sitting on the pile waiting, you have piqued my interest, I will be sure to get around to it soon
martine

bazza said...

flowersonline24: Thank you; I wish it was my poem!

bazza said...

Martine: After visiting Silencing The Bell I can imagine you have a hefty TBR pile of books; at least you won't have to buy Serious Concerns!
Thanks for visiting.

Anonymous said...

From the illustrious pen of the fabulous Sir Tom Eagerly:
Bazza my old pal, if I bring Lady Eagerly flowers her reaction is always "What have you been up to now you brute?!"
Mind you, not much gets past her and I end up sleeping in the dog-house anyway.
Pity poor Sir Tom.....

bazza said...

Sir Tom: I think Wendy Cope would see right through you as well Sir Tom!

All Consuming said...

Thank you bazza, I don't think I've ever had a post dedicated to me before, how lovely! And tis true about the poem, humorous and poignant at the same time. Thank you for that :D x

Wendy aka Quillfeather said...

Beautiful. No other word for it.

bazza said...

AC: I knew you'd be surprised but I was a bit surprised myself when I learned that you had not yet come across Wendy Cope. I felt that her work would appeal to you and I'm glad that it does!

bazza said...

Wendy aka Quillfeather: Some other words might be poignant, funny, sad, honest and subtle but one certainly can't deny 'beautiful'.

Dixie said...

"The sort that minds like ours dream up incessantly."
Insightful, accepting, and forgiving; 'the road less traveled".
Bazza, you've shared a treasure.. my thanks!

bazza said...

Dixie: I'm glad you approve! I am a big fan of The Road Less Travelled. It's that rare thing: a self-help book that really helps.