Wendy Cope – From June to December

1 Prelude

It wouldn’t be a good idea
To let him stay.
When they knew each other better –
Not today.
But she put on her new black knickers
Anyway.

2 A Serious Person

It’s nice to meet serious people
And hear them explain their views:
Your concern for the rights of women
Is especially welcome news.
I’m sure you’d never exploit one;
I expect you’d rather be dead;
I’m thoroughly convinced of it –
Now can we go to bed?

3 Summer Villanelle

You know exactly what to do –
Your kiss, your fingers on my thigh –
I think of little else but you.

It’s bliss to have a lover who,
Touching one shoulder, makes me sigh –
You know exactly what to do.

You make me happy through and through,
The way the sun lights up the sky –
I think of little else but you.

I hardly sleep – an hour or two;
I can’t eat much and this is why –
You know exactly what to do.

The movie in my mind is blue –
As June runs into warm July
I think of little else but you.

4 The Reading

In crumpled, bardic corduroy,
The poet took the stage
And read aloud his deathless verse,
Page by deathless page.

I gazed at him as though intent
On every word he said.
From time to time I’d close my eyes
And smile and nod my head.

He may have thought his every phrase
Sent shivers down my spine.
Perhaps I helped encourage him
To read till half past nine.

Don’t ask what it was all about –
I haven’t got a clue.
I spent a blissful evening, lost
In carnal thoughts of you.

5 Some People

Some people like sex more than others –
You seem to like it a lot.
There’s nothing wrong with being innocent or high-minded
But I’m glad you’re not.

6 Going Too Far

Cuddling the new telephone directory
After I found your name in it
Was going too far.

It’s a safe bet you’re not hugging a phone book,
Wherever you are.

7 Verse for a Birthday Card

Many happy returns and good luck.
When it comes to a present, I’m stuck.
If you weren’t far away
On your own special day,
I could give you a really nice glass of lager.

8 Love Story

I thought you’d be a pushover;
I hoped I wouldn’t hurt you.
I warned you this was just a fling
And one day I’d desert you.

So kindly in your spectacles,
So solid in your jacket,
So manly in your big white car
That must have cost a packet.

I grew to like you more and more –
I didn’t try to hide it.
Fall in love with someone nice? –
I’d hardly ever tried it.

The course of true love didn’t run
Quite the way I’d planned it.
You failed to fall in love with me –
I couldn’t understand it.

9 Spring Onions

Decapitating the spring onions,
She made this mental note:
You can tell it’s love, the real thing,
When you dream of slitting his throat.

10 I’ll Be Nice

I’ll be nice to you and smile –
It’s easy for a man to win –
But I’ll hate you all the while..

I shall go the extra mile
And condone your every sin –
I’ll be nice to you and smile.

You will think I like your style;
You’ll believe I’ve given in
But I’ll hate you all the while.

Safe as an atomic pile,
Good as nitroglycerine,
I’ll be nice to you and smile.

I’ll say hypocrisy is vile
And give a reassuring grin
But I’ll hate you all the while.

Set against my wits and guile,
Manly strength won’t save your skin.
I’ll be nice to you and smile
But I’ll hate you all the while.

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