Twenty two years after the publication of Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis, the collection that shot her into what passes in the poetry world for a stratosphere, and 16 years after Serious Concerns, a book about disappointment that struck a chord so deep that it has sold more than 180,000 copies, Wendy Cope is happy. She has a sheen she didn't have when I first met her 20 years ago. You could call it poise, you could call it elegance but actually, I think it's just happiness. Happiness and love.
Her new book, Two Cures for Love: Selected Poems 1979-2006 (Faber & Faber, 12.99) takes its title from a poem in Serious Concerns which addresses, with Copeian brevity, the tricky issue of how to recover from that immobilising mental and physical condition called being in love. "Don't see him. Don't phone or write a letter," is the first option. The second,"The easy way: get to know him better," is characteristic understatement infused with a wry realism wrung from hard-won experience.
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