8 My Funeral

My Funeral by Wendy Cope

Ruth Kelsey’s choice number 8

Read the poem here

I had to include Wendy Cope in my list as her poetry ticks so many boxes for me; her work is variously witty, accessible, and poignant, and she has a tremendous eye for seeing the absurd in our everyday actions and interactions. I love satire and parody in poetry but it’s difficult to do it well. Wendy is a poet who does it brilliantly, and her ‘Strugnell’ sequence is a particular favourite of mine. Much of her poetry is also written in strict form, something else she makes look infuriatingly easy.

There are so many of her poems I could have chosen, but in the end I settled on My Funeral from her Family Values collection. I inherited from my father an aversion to those who tend to ‘go on a bit’ and I can almost hear his voice in some of the lines in this poem. I would be happy for it to be read out at mine…

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