Not only marble, but the plastic toys

“Not only marble, but the plastic toys” by Wendy Cope is a parody of Shakespeare’s “Sonnet LV”.

Theme:

Creative works cannot endure.

Techniques:

Sonnet structure, comparison, parody, allusion.

Issues:

See Shakespeare’s “Sonnet LV”.

Summarize this sonnet in your own words using your summary of Shakespeare’s “Sonnet LV” as a starting point or model.

Do you think Wendy Cope has successfully refuted Shakespeare’s position, or is the purpose of this poem merely to entertain?

Write your own parody of Shakespeare’s “Sonnet LV”.

“Not only marble, but the plastic toys” by Wendy Cope
Not only marble, but the plastic toys
From cornflake packets will outlive this rhyme
I can’t immortalize you, love – our joys
Will lie unnoticed in the vault of time.
When Mrs. Thatcher has been cast in bronze
And her administration is a page
In some O-Level text-book, when the dons
Have analysed the story of our age,
When travel firms sell tours of outer space
When aeroplanes take off without a sound
And Tulse Hill has become a trendy place
And upper Norwood’s on the underground
Your beauty and my name will be forgotten –
My love is true, but all my verse is rotten.

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