Your Views Matter To Us

1. Based on your recent reading experience, how likely are you to recommend this poem to a friend or colleague, on a scale of 1 to 10 – where 10 means it changed the way you think and/or feel about the world and left you buzzing for days, and 1 means not even if we gave you a voucher for a weekend in Amsterdam?


2. Which of the following words would you use to describe this poem?  Select all that apply.

a) priceless
b) plodding
c) psychotic
d) relevant
e) shoddy
f) unique
g) incomprehensible
h) life-enhancing
i) life-denying
j) modern
k) tragic
l) traditional
m) comic
n) odd
o) other – please use the box below for the word you consider appropriate:

3. How well did this poem meet your emotional needs in terms of:

a) convincing you not to commit suicide in the next eight days
b) convincing you to commit suicide in the next eight days
c) prompting you to propose marriage or civil partnership to the person of your choice although you’ve been putting it off for years
d) making you wish you still believed in a benevolent deity who took a close interest in you as a discrete individual and who despite all the evidence ensures all is ultimately for the best in this best of all possible worlds
e) encouraging you to contemplate gender reassignment surgery
f) helping you to conclude that the time had come to give up meat and dairy products
g) ditto but including fish
h) driving you to pick up the phone and book an appointment with your analyst
i) radically improving your sex life
j) persuading you that the time has come to walk away from a doomed relationship or a dysfunctional family
k) encouraging you to look for a new job
l) at last giving you the willpower to give up cigarettes, drinks, or drugs
m) at last giving you the willpower to give up giving up cigarettes, drinks, or drugs
n) meeting any other need or needs you may or may not be too embarrassed to mention in the box below:

4. In the light of your reading of the poem, are you::

a) delighted that poetry is no longer the domain of a male/stale/pale classically-educated Oxbridge elite
b) drafting a letter to The Spectator lamenting that only a minority of crackpots/lefties/feminists write and/or read the stuff
c) able to define the difference between self-expression and writing poetry
d) on the contrary, more inclined to celebrate poetry as the summit of self-expression
e) minded to have a go at versification yourself if that’s all it takes
f) in a position to write an essay explaining the philosophical/historical/ideological reasons why almost no one writes poems which rhyme or make sense anymore
g) confirmed in your opinion that no account should be taken of the private life of a poet when assessing the worth of his or her poem
h) ready to sign a petition calling for poems by politically incorrect non-Woke poets to be burned
i) increasingly certain that one of the reasons the world is falling apart is because schoolchildren are no longer forced to learn poems by heart
j) assured you can safely give up poetry without expecting to suffer any significant negative side effects
k) interested in joining the Poetry Society
l) resigning your membership of the Poetry Society
m) despairing of humanity
n) other:

5. How long have you been a reader of poetry?

a) all your conscious life
b) since you were inspired by a weirdo teacher at school
c) never - you stumbled upon this piece of gibberish by chance and wish you hadn’t
d) since you joined the SAS
e) since you fell in love
f) since you fell out of love
g) since you’ve been in prison
h) since you lost your belief in God
i) since you lost your seat in Parliament
j) since someone read you a poem by Wendy Cope
k) other:

6. How likely are you to read any of this poet’s poems ever again?

a) extremely likely
b) very likely
c) somewhat likely
d) not so likely
e) you’d rather shoot yourself
f) you’d rather shoot the poet
g) you’ve already shot the poet
h) other:

7. Have you any other questions, comments, or concerns about this poem?

8. Why do you think the poet should pay any attention to any of the views you have expressed in this survey? What makes you so special?

9. Do you regret completing this survey?

a) yes
b) no
c) don’t know
d) it helped to pass the time though it would have passed anyway
e) other:

10. Did you actually read the poem or does your pathetic life mean that you just like filling in Customer Satisfaction Surveys despite knowing your views will be ignored?

a) of course you read it and anyway there’s no way anyone can check
b) OK you admit the latter but what’s wrong with that? At least you’re not pushing other people around or pretending you know best
c) you’d like to know how you can get a cushy job like ours
d) you resent the question
e) isn’t this the poem anyway?
f) go to Hell
g) other:

Tom Vaughan

If you have any thoughts about this poem, Tom Vaughan would be pleased to hear them