Wendy Cope is one of my favourite modern poets. Her work is both poignant and funny, often in the same poem, and totally relatable. This anthology is subtitled ‘Selected poems 1979- 2006′, and includes work from Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis, Serious Concerns, and If I Don’t Know, as well as some previously unpublished poems.
The thing that makes this collection particularly interesting is that it has notes on all of the poems at the end. In the introduction Cope notes that, when Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis was set as an A-level text, several years ago, many of the pupils (and indeed teachers) did not always recognise the in-jokes, references and parodies that her work involves. The notes aim to address this, and give further insight into her poetry, and sense of humour.
Two Cures for Love includes some of my favourite Cope poems, such as ‘Defining the Problem’, ‘From June to December’, ‘The Orange’ and ‘Names’, and is a wonderful introduction to Cope’s deceptively clever poetry.