If I Don't Know

Front Cover
Faber, 2001 - 76 pages
6 Reviews
Wendy Cope's most recent collection, her first since Serious Concerns in 1992, extends her concern with the comedy of the examined life ('the way we have been, the way we sometimes are'), and imagines those adjustments to the ordinary which would fulfil our futures, or allow us to realize the golden age of five minutes ago, or weigh the 'out there' of the present moment, where what is in sight is also out of reach. These are poems of well-tempered yearning, conditional idylls which sing in praise of lying fallow, the creativity of daydream, the yeast of boredom, the truths of intermediacy. Wendy Cope's formal tact is alertly present - in triolets, rondeaux, villanelles, squibs, epigrams - small forms whose power to disarm goes hand in hand with her characteristically tart ripostes to the way things (usually) are. This collection extends the variousness of her occasions.

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Review: If I Don't Know

User Review  - Moira McPartlin - Goodreads

Disappointing. Too much simple rhyming for me. Read full review

Review: If I Don't Know

User Review  - Sarah - Goodreads

Gentle, humorous, thought provoking. Read full review

About the author (2001)

Wendy Cope was born in Erith, Kent. After university she worked for fifteen years as a primary-school teacher in London. Her first collection of poems, Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis, was published in 1986. In 1987 she received a Cholmondeley Award for poetry and in 1995 the American Academy of Arts and Letters Michael Braude Award for light verse. Two Cures for Love: Selected Poems 1979-2006 was published in 2008.

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