4: Plato, Cope, Larkin

Texts: Plato, selections from Republic
Wendy Cope, “Bloody Men
Philip Larkin, “This Be The Verse

So, what happens when you have two twelve-line poems with similar forms and tones? This. First BM on its own, then TBTV on its own, then a death-match of the genders to see who’s more depressed.

And now, “Bloody Men” and “This Be The Verse” as a round/mashup.

[The Plato is too long to quote here, but it’s one of the parts where they’re talking about poetry and how it won’t be allowed in the city.]

Bloody Men – Wendy Cope

Bloody men are like bloody buses –
You wait for about a year,
And as soon as one approaches your stop
Two or three others appear.

You look at them flashing their indicators,
Offering you a ride.
You’re trying to read the destinations,
You haven’t much time to decide.

If you make a mistake, there is no turning back.
Jump off, and you’ll stand there and gaze
While the cars, the taxis and the lorries go by
And the minutes, the hours, the days.

This Be the Verse – Philip Larkin

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.

Recorded April 28, 2010, at 3033 Guilford.
Collaborators: Daniel Schwartz (vox), Dara Weinberg (vox, dir)

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