Sunday, 26 November 2017

Playing with poetry

I had such fun playing with 'The Naming of Parts' a few weeks ago (you can scroll down or find it here) that I thought I'd share my reworking of Roger McGough's Let me Die a Youngman's Death. For those of you who don't recall the original, it's here.

It was written in the 1960s - when men didn't notice that they might not be speaking for women (I know, many are still like that) so I wanted to give it a feminist perspective. (Some of you may recognise it - it's been on my website for a while).
Let me die a young woman's death;
not an old, dribbling-in-my-tea death,
not a leaking-in-the-sheets death
not a hold-my-hand
and longing-for-the-end death.
But when I'm 73,
and with dicky ticker,
may I climb Kanchenjunga and
gasp my last in thin
Himalayan air.
Or when I'm 94,
in Soho, may I fall
and break my neck when dressed
in mini skirt and sparkly sandals with six inch heels
and fuck-me painted on my nails.
Or when I'm 104,
and banned from travelling
may I stow away with Queen Elizabeth
and be caught stealing
champagne and last night's canap├ęs
and made to walk the plank.
Let me die a young woman's death;
a let-us-dance-into-the-long-goodnight death;
a hey-hey, you-you
get-off-of-my-cloud death.


  1. Ah yes, Jo, let us all go helter skelter into our golden years and age with a good bit of healthy disgrace. I like your feminist twist, but I hope the attitude applies to all of us regardless of sex.

    1. The original - let me die a young man's death - is all fast cars and old men with young mistresses, so that's what I wanted to parody. But I take your point, Val.

  2. A great poem, Jo! I'm for stealing the champagne and canapes myself!

  3. Absolutely wonderful, it made me smile.