Poetry Review: Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis by Wendy Cope


Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis by Wendy Cope
Faber and Faber (paperback), 1997, first published in 1986
59 Pages

British Council: Literature (Poet’s Page)

Poetry Archive (Poet’s Page)

Amazon (UK)


When ‘Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis’ was first published, it catapulted its author into the bestseller lists and established her as one of our most funniest and eloquent of poets.

“Cope has an extraordinarily quite funny sense quite rare among poets – of what will engage a reader’s attention.”
– Dana Gioia, Poetry Review

“A jet-age Tennyson.”
– Nicholas Tredell, London Review of Books

“Like Larkin and Harrison, Cope has proven that a popular poetry is possible without compromising quality.”
– Gerry Cambridge, Acumen

Engineer’s Corner

We make more fuss of ballads than of blueprints –
That’s why so many poets end up rich,
While engineers scrape by in cheerless garrets.
Who needs a bridge or dam? Who need a ditch?

I’ve been reading Wendy Cope’s poems on and off for years, in various collection, mostly published by Bloodaxe Books. I find her poems extremely funny and brutally honest. One of her best poems is Two Cures for Love.

Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis is a great collection of poems. Cope offers the perfect blend of humour and poignancy. I laughed a lot as I read through the poems and also felt moved to tears at times. It takes a special kind of talent to write poems that can tap into a range of emotions. I bought Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis years ago but never got round to reading it. I’m so glad I did. My favourite poems are Strugnell in Liverpool, Reading Scheme, Waste Land Limericks, Lonely Hearts, At 3am and Giving Up Smoking.

I’d highly recommend Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis.




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