A Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis daylog:

Rather unexpectedly, just before the final practice for our Honour Guard parade, the end of my CCF career Alex produced an unexpectedly slim volume, which was of course Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis. The book was in pretty good condition considering how far it's travelled, and has some interesting marginalia, and I'm sure these are bound to multiply.

I had to leave the book in a quiet corner while I went and waved around my rifle for some brigadier from the Adujant-General's corps, and was massively relieved to find it still present when I got back. I know the chances of it walking during that hour were pretty slim, but I'd hate to be the person that lets down an entire community, especially Lometa and all the wonderful noders that have had the book so far.

I got the books safely back to my boarding house, and had a brief perusal and examination of it. I saw the bookcrossing label in the front, and therefore went there to register its progress. If you want to track it, it's book number 561-467689. I put up a brief note, and a picture of me, dressed up in fatigues holding the book. I'm going to go back and rate the book when I'm actually done reading it. I also noticed that the corners of the covers are getting a little dog eared, so I reinforced them with a little transparent tape.

So far I'm certainly enjoying myself. The notes made by other users are certainly thought provoking, although the sticker of a carrot on page 17 left me slightly confused. I plan to give the book a good read over the next few days, and then send it off on it's next voyage. But for now; here's one of the poems, and my response to it.

I used to think all poets were Byronic -
Mad, bad and dangerous to know.
And then I met a few. Yes it's ironic -
I used to think all poets were Byronic.
They're mostly wicked as a ginless tonic
And wild as pension plans. Not long ago
I used to think all poets were Byronic -
Mad, bad and dangerous to know.

Does Wendy Cope speak the truth? I certainly had always though of poets as rather "Mad, bad and dangerous to know." On the few occasions I've seen Wendy Cope wandering around Winchester, even before I knew who she was, she seemed to have a certain aura of formidable intellect, and to obviously be something other than a normal wage-slave. But her recent signing in this book:

Dear Readers,
Hope you enjoy the book,
Wendy Cope
Winchester, 23 May, 2003
seems to be the product of a perfectly normal mind. I'm not a student of English, but when I was the teachers always seemed to approach the text with some kind of reverence, in a way more profound than even priests treat the bible. I just have this feeling that there's something that some people have, in part a product of intellect, but far less rigid that just enables them to click with poetry. I know I don't have this, and it seems that however much enjoyment I can get from a book like Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis I'll always be missing something.

- And that saddens me

*Just in case you didn't fancy leaving my writeup in the middle, a triolet is "A poem or stanza of eight lines with a rhyme scheme abaaabab, in which the fourth and seventh lines are the same as the first, and the eighth line is the same as the second." - Webster 1913. Therefore to title the poem triolet is just like naming a sonnet "sonnet".