The Reading

by Wendy Cope

In crumpled, bardic corduroy,

The poet took the stage

And read aloud his deathless verse,

Page by deathless page.

I gazed at him as though intent

On every word he said.

From time to time I’d close my eyes

And smile and nod my head.

He may have thought his every phrase

Sent shivers down my spine.

Perhaps I helped encourage him

To read till half past nine.

Don’t ask what it was all about—

I haven’t got a clue.

I spent a blissful evening, lost

In carnal thoughts of you.