An interview with Wendy Cope



“What do you see as the role of humour in poetry?

I don’t set out to write humorous poems it’s just sometimes my sense of humour gets into them – well quite often. As a reader I suppose I laugh when I recognise something – I think laughter often is when you recognise something is true but you’d never actually allowed yourself to think that or you’d never heard it put quite so well. I think it’s possible for a poem to be funny and serious at the same time and I get very annoyed with the assumption that if a poem is funny then it can’t be saying anything important and deeply felt. Some of my poems are just playful and could accurately be described as ‘light verse’ but I think in a lot of my poems, although there’s humour in them, they are saying something that matters and something that’s deeply felt and I don’t think…I think those things can co-exist in the same poem.”


In this spring weather birds appear

Building nests for offspring dear.

The sun is low and sends strange light

Shadows long form artist’s sight

Blossom bends from trees still bare

Cherry AE Housenans dear.

I look up into the sky

No geese are here for a flyby.

I look down and see the soil

Where the worms in patience Toil

Like the Carers in a Home

Noone writes of them in poems

Noone writes of beetles paths

Not of great spiders hidden worth

The cobwebs glitter with small gems

We have no way to preserve them

So we must seize the moments beads

Decorations our souls need