Some More Light Verse~A Challenge for the Unpoetic

Dad in Sydney, our house and my birthday 2007 020







If you read mainly information-based stories, such as blogs and Twitter, and believe poetry is obsolete in today’s world, I challenge you to read this. If you believe you don’t understand poetry, that it isn’t relevant to you, I dare you to read on—it will only take an investment (or waste) of two minutes out of your entire life.

This poem is a shining example of contemporary poetry; it is accessible and funny in its depiction of our ordinary lives, struggles and neuroses. I feel like Wendy Cope took the words out of my mouth!  I’d love to hear how many of you relate to it.

Some More Light Verse by Wendy Cope

You have to try. You see a shrink.

You learn a lot. You read. You think.

You struggle to improve your looks.

You meet some men. You write some books.

You eat good food. You give up junk.

You do not smoke. You don’t get drunk.

You take up yoga, walk and swim.

And nothing works. The outlook’s grim.

You don’t know what to do. You cry.

You’re running out of things to try.


You blow your nose. You see a shrink.

You walk. You give up food and drink.

You fall in love. You make a plan.

You struggle to improve your man.

And nothing works. The outlook’s grim.

You go to yoga, cry and swim.

You eat and drink. You give up looks.

You struggle to improve your books.

You cannot see the point. You sigh.

You do not smoke. You have to try.


What did you think? Is it a story of hope or is the outlook really grim?

Have I convinced you that poetry could be relevant for you? After all, poetry is (to quote Elizabeth Bishop) “observations in lines”. Did you enjoy this play on language?


4 thoughts on “Some More Light Verse~A Challenge for the Unpoetic

  1. he, he – that’s a good one:-). Sorry Tina, I’ve been snowed down with work and my own assignment so havent even had the time to open your email with the essay. but looking forward to it later this week i hope:-) see you at the marked on saturday maybe? I’ve signed up for a 40 days modern yoga project at Power living for the next 6 weeks, but hope to get a Restorative class in on saturdays now and then:-) lots of love, Lene Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2014 02:38:18 +0000 To:


    • I love this poem. It my chosen one for this week at uni. I seriously felt like she write it about me hehe!

      The market at the school? I always forget so thanks for the reminder! I will have a browse either before or after my class.

      No problems about the essay. I read it again today. I think I’ve either killed it (or maybe done it to death)!

      Enjoy the yoga xx


  2. If you can keep your head .when all about you are losing theirs and blaming you,etc etc Yours is the earth and everything in it and whats more you’ll be a man my son [or daughter]
    If is the best poem and outlook on life ever.


    • That was a good one for sure. I like this one though, I feel like it was written about my life! What I really like is it’s accessible and makes fun of modern life and human behaviour.


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