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This review is taken from PN Review 51, Volume 13 Number 1, September - October 1986.

MAKING MONEY Wendy Cope, Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis (Faber) £7.95, £3.95 pb.

On the very day I choose to review this slim first book of verse, I open a national Sunday newspaper and find an enthusiastic review of it - 'truly accomplished', it says. I also switch on the radio and hear a computer-like poem by Wendy Cope being read on Pick of the Week. That's just one day! Clearly somebody has been very busy behind the scenes.

It would be comforting to be able to report that the big puff is all over nothing, which is what we expect of big puffs. But that's not quite possible. There is a skill at work in this book, intermittently; there is a certain gift for sharp phrases in a context of mimicry, and sometimes a winning reticence - qualities which if they were more consistently in evidence would actually make the book worth having. It is after all, a 'light' book - a collection of parodies of fashionable figures in the poetry world, with a few fairly gentle personal non-parodic poems, and there are enough telling strokes interspersed to make one think that it could have been a much better book. But the parodies are all confirmatory and there is such an admixture of sheer crudity and silliness that no serious satiric or poetic import can be claimed for the book.

Surely a responsible publisher of poetry would have wanted to elicit from the new author work which showed forth such skill as she has in the modes ...

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