"There is no amount of pretty in the world that can cover a venomous heart."

Ah, the irony! Rhonda Huntress said that, and she also said:

http://forums-archive.secondlife.com/327/85/252954/3653.html (The quote in Rio's post, sixth post down.)

http://forums-archive.secondlife.com/327/85/252954/3828.html (Top post.)

Saturday, 18 June 2011


Remarkably, Scylla is quoting the "frustrated professional-Northerner lesbian man-hater" (as my son bilefully describes CarolAnn Duffy, current Poet Laureate) in relation to desire, whereas she should really be offering paeans to the wonderful Wendy Cope instead. Here is my favourite piece of hers, and a few more examples can be found here.


The day he moved out was terrible –
That evening she went through hell.
His absence wasn’t a problem
But the corkscrew had gone as well.

Oh, all right, in addition here's the one she wrote about me: 

Faint praise

Size isn’t everything. It’s what you do
That matters, darling, and you do it quite well
In some respects. Credit where credit’s due –
You work, you’re literate, you rarely smell.
Small men can be aggressive, people say,
But you are often genial and kind,
As long as you can have things all your way
And I comply, and do not speak my mind.
You look all right. I’ve never been disgusted
By paunchiness. Who wants some skinny youth?
My friends have warned me that you can’t be trusted
But I protest I’ve heard you tell the truth.
Nobody’s perfect. Now and then, my pet,
You’re almost human. You could make it yet.

PS Excellent advice from her:

Two cures for love

1 Don’t see him. Don’t phone or write a letter.
2 The easy way: get to know him better.


  1. Oh, comparisons are so invidious. Does it not suggest a catholicity of taste to like both Cope and Duffy?

    But let's not fight about it. Men and their boring arguments . . .

    One man on his own can be quite good fun
    But don’t go drinking with two -
    They’ll probably have an argument
    And take no notice of you.

    What makes men so tedious
    Is the need to show off and compete.
    They’ll bore you to death for hours and hours
    Before they’ll admit defeat.

    It often happens at dinner-parties
    Where brother disputes with brother
    And we can’t even talk among ourselves
    Because we’re not next to each other.

    Some men like to argue with women -
    Don’t give them a chance to begin.
    You won’t be allowed to change the subject
    Until you have given in.

    A man with the bit between his teeth
    Will keep you up half the night
    And the only way to get some sleep
    Is to say, ‘I expect you’re right.’

    I expect you’re right, my dearest love.
    I expect you’re right, my friend.
    These boring arguments make no difference
    To anything in the end.

  2. Liking Cope is good taste. Liking Duffy isn't.

    Cope likes men even if she does get frustrated with them. Duffy hates men because they frustrate her.

    They kind of sum up the two types of women with whom I tend to commmunicate. The former appreciate me and the latter . . . don't.

  3. You may have hit upon an entirely new approach to literary theory here, Pep: judge the excellence and value of a literary production by the degree to which the poet would or would not "appreciate" you.

    I'd publish on this before Harold Bloom gets wind of it; he only likes Shakespeare as much as he does because he's convinced they'd have been best friends had they met.

  4. I reckon mine is much more personally convincing than the conventional post-modern deconstructionist approach. Dylan Thomas and Kingsley Amis would have agreed with me, too, except they are dead. Even now they are probably looking up (not down) and shouting "Fuck you, Leavis, you didn't understand".

  5. You would choose two of the most notoriously misogynist womanizers as your allies, wouldn't you? Thomas was a drunk, and Amis the most deliberate and self-conscious asshat in the history of English letters.

    Although it might surprise you to know that I actually like them both, as writers. Especially Amis, One Fat Englishman though he was.

  6. You dare disparage my heroes! Well, you would.

    In the past I have recommended to those who have wanted to get some sort of a handle on my attitudes (and those of the literate curmudgeonly Welsh) to read "The Old Devils".

    Insightful? Much!

  7. A review: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2010/feb/15/booker-old-devils-kingsley-amis

  8. Well, I didn't disparage them as writers. Merely as human beings.

    One of my favourite Amis characters is Rhiannon from The Old Devils. Oddly enough, she is one of the reasons, I think, that I chose the SL last name that I did.

    It's not too difficult to work out which character you identify with. And I don't mean Malcolm.

  9. Can you tell the dancer from the dance, though?

  10. Such an intellectual exchange! Who would have guessed neither of you were fully employed, or at all in the case of one -- this narcissistic circle jerk needs to stop before the residents of SL eventually push back against your jointly dull psuedo intellectual rhetoric.

  11. Intellectual? Not really. Unless you - demonstrating profound depths of ignorance - count having read (for fun!) REAL poems and books as an elitist pursuit, and that the proletariat would be better served reading real estate handbooks and anti-communist tracts.

    Pep (is amused that someone chooses to be despised as both a man and a woman by bigots who identify the weaknesses of both genders in your personality.)

  12. Hmmm. Crude anti-intellectualism rather than crude anti-communism?

    You don't really *sound* much like Prok, prokofy911.

  13. I need a new Pserendipity Daniels' post! After this long it should be a classic, British, absolutely hilarious while being cuttingly poignant masterpiece.