Saturday, January 07, 2006

'Giving Up Smoking' by Wendy Cope

This is one of my favourite love poems; I think the sentiment is beautiful whether you smoke or not. It's absolutely simple; two parts, one composed of compliments using simile, then the second with its offer of sacrifice. But this sacrifice is much more real than any tearing your heart out or walking to the ends of the earth. And it's not to keep someone, or to prove something massive; it's just because she likes him.

Giving up Smoking by Wendy Cope

There's not a Shakespeare sonnet Or a Beethoven quartet That's easier to like than you Or harder to forget. You think that sounds extravagant? I haven't finished yet- I like you more than I would like To have a cigarette. This isn't just a random posting- I haven't had a cigarette since Tuesday. I didn't do it for someone else, but for myself. I can't afford to smoke (over a grand in debt and I'm spending nearly that on malboro lights each year) and my usual post-Christmas cough and cold spurred me on. Lovebird is being very good -no sneering- but the really helpful people have been the NHS. They come to my work every Thursday night and run a giving up drop-in thing. I was chatting to them and they invited me to come and see them. I get to tell a hot counsellor all my problems, then he gives me free nicotine patches. Can't wait to go back next week and soak up the praise for not having smoked. Isn't it funny how much easier something is if you've got to do it to prove something to someone else? Especially a stranger.


weierstrass said...

i really like this poem. if you think of a smoker whose loved one isn't and never has been, it's great how it conveys that desperate "i love you more than i could ever make you understand"
but i didn't interpret it before now that the speaker is giving up for the person she's addressing.

Josephine said...

Five days is brilliant, you should be really proud of yourself.

For me the revelation was when I found myself on the tube next to a smoker and realised that I would never have known he was a smoker before I quit myself. But smokers smell, not just after having a fag, but all the time.

problemshelved said...

It's not just the free patches, you see. My NHS counsellor is my friend. I can tell him how my day went and he seems to be interested. I guess I'll do quite a lot for some attention.

yajur said...

Wonderful blog & good post.Its really helpful for me, awaiting for more new post. Keep Blogging!

Giving up Smoking