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Poems

Wendy Cope: "The Waste Land" as 5 limericks

Wendy Cope
The Waste Land: Five Limericks

I

In April one seldom feels cheerful;
Dry stones, sun and dust make me fearful;
Clairvoyantes distress me,
Commuters depress me--
Met Stetson and gave him an earful.

II

She sat on a mighty fine chair,
Sparks flew as she tidied her hair;
She asks many questions,
I make few suggestions--
Bad as Albert and Lil--what a pair!

III

The Thames runs, bones rattle, rats creep;
Tiresias fancies a peep--
A typist is laid,
A record is played--
Wei la la. After this it gets deep.

IV

A Phoenician named Phlebas forgot
About birds and his business--the lot,
Which is no surprise,
Since he'd met his demise
And been left in the ocean to rot.

V

No water. Dry rocks and dry throats,
Then thunder, a shower of quotes
From the Sanskrit and Dante.
Da. Damyata. Shantih.
I hope you'll make sense of the notes.

-- Wendy Cope


February 17, 2024

February 05, 2024

February 01, 2024

January 19, 2024

January 18, 2024

January 17, 2024

January 16, 2024

January 15, 2024

January 05, 2024

December 08, 2023

November 30, 2023

November 25, 2023

November 24, 2023

November 08, 2023

November 06, 2023

November 03, 2023

October 29, 2023

October 14, 2023

October 10, 2023

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Radio

I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark


from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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