Bloody Men



Poet Wendy Cope was born in Erith, Kent, England in 1945 and read History at St Hilda's College, Oxford. She trained as a teacher at Westminster College of Education, Oxford, and taught in primary schools in London. She became Arts and Reviews editor and continued to teach part-time, before becoming a freelance writer in 1986. She was television critic for The Spectator magazine until 1990. She received a Cholmondeley Award in 1987 and was awarded the Michael Braude Award for Light Verse (American Academy of Arts and Letters) in 1995. Wendy Cope is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and lives in Winchester, England.

Wendy Cope
(born 1945)


Bloody Men

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 and the taxis and lorries go by
And the minutes, the hours, the days.

Wendy Cope


bloody: [British] used for disapproving emphasis
a ride: a journey in a vehicle driven by someone else
no turning back: no way of retracing your course
jump off: set off quickly
gaze: stare; look at with fixed eyes
lorries: large trucks designed to carry heavy loads
go by = pass by


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