(20 September 1902 – 7 March 1971 / Kingston upon Hull)

The Jungle Husband

Dearest Evelyn, I often think of you
Out with the guns in the jungle stew
Yesterday I hittapotamus
I put the measurements down for you but they got lost in the fuss
It's not a good thing to drink out here
You know, I've practically given it up dear.
Tomorrow I am going alone a long way
Into the jungle. It is all grey
But green on top
Only sometimes when a tree has fallen
The sun comes down plop, it is quite appalling.
You never want to go in a jungle pool
In the hot sun, it would be the act of a fool
Because it's always full of anacondas, Evelyn, not looking ill-fed
I'll say. So no more now, from your loving husband Wilfred.

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Comments (4)

The presence of the enormous jungle is what comes across to me. Surely here we find a wonderful restatement of some of The Heart of Darkness - The horror! The horror!
An interesting poem on which to ponder the views of the husband.
stiff upper lip described beautifully with more than a hint of matrimonial apathy. I love this poem it is redolent of Victorian attitudes. It speaks of bewilderment yet of undeserved superiority. I could write a thousand words to start describing what stevie smith achieved in a hundred
I really like this poem. The first time I saw it was in an anthology of poetry selected by Griselda Greaves called The Burning Thorn, a most excellent book which I have treasured for many many years. My students also have loved this book and have practically worn the cover off of it.