In this gloriously exuberant anthology, Wendy Cope sets out to prove that misery doesn’t have all the best lines. Here is a collection of poems which are unashamedly happy: poems about love, places, the beauty of the natural world, about company and solitude, music, food and drink, books, and the unadulterated pleasure of taking a shower.
Among the more surprising items are the Chinese Po Chu-I on the advantages of baldness, the eighteenth-century John Dyer on the kindly behaviour of his ox, and an unusually cheerful Thomas Hardy enjoying the sight of seven women laughing as they stagger, arm in arm, down an icy hill. Catullus, Chaucer, Clare, Dickinson, Betjeman and Larkin are among the contributors who help to demonstrate that people who believe that ‘happiness writes white’ have got it wrong.
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