On Spending National Poetry Day Waiting for the Dishwasher to be Fixed

It is on days like these
that I wonder if other poets
are just better at covering up
the daily drudgery of life,

domesticity’s endless tugging
upon unironed shirt-sleeves,
as the unwashed mugs
gather sadly in the sink.

Yes, I can imagine Larkin
in some grim launderette,
his specs reflecting back
in a washing machine door

but the others? Hard to think
of Auden elbow-deep in soap suds
or Betjeman wrestling
with bin bags. But I could be wrong.

Maybe the person from Porlock
disturbed poor Coleridge
as he was going hard at it
with a sink plunger.

Perhaps Plath was a dab hand
with a Black and Decker.
Likewise, Heaney with his hoover.
Eliot and his mop.

More likely they just swept
it all under the carpet.
Took up their squat pens
to escape from the squalid,

not drag themselves
further down. But enough
of such melancholic reveries,
I must go now

for the dishwasher repair man is here.


  1. wicked poem, i cant imagine my idols doing daily chores, but they must do, theyre only human after all

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