Short Versions

My Last Duchess (Browning)

I didn't think much
Of my old duch.

Rhapsody On A Windy Night (Eliot)

Life at night is quite exciting
Thanks to all this fancy lighting.

On The Move (Gunn)

Bikers are such manly chaps,
Strictly for the birds (perhaps).

The Thought-Fox (Hughes)

Poetry requires hush:
Then arrives like Basil Brush.

Fern Hill (Thomas)

Wake from out my midnight ramble:
Life is just a massive gambol.

Bagpipe Music (MacNeice)

Life is like a wailing ceilidh
Where they count the money daily.

Dover Beach (Arnold)

If God's the tide, He's on the turn,
So, baby, let our passions burn.

A Subaltern's Love Song (Betjeman)

Feel her foreplay - more than kisses!
Now I'll have to call her Mrs.

Hurrahing In Harvest (Hopkins)

The sky, the air, the clouds, the hills, the breezes:
They make you want to give three cheers for Jesus!

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Coleridge)

No, listen, there's this albatross,
I shot him, he wasn't half cross.
He had the crew cursed, he
Made us feel thirsty.
I'm ancient now. Tragic, eh boss?


Hamlet, a Danish blue lad
Was cheesed off by the death of his Dad:
It was hard cheddar, spurned
By his Mum, whose face turned
Very red leicester son thought her bad.


Macbeth, a death-dealing thane,
In the pangs of a widower's pain
Spoke of life's ceaseless sorrow,
The ache of tomorrow,
Or the day after that, there again.

From Send-Up