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A Betjeman fan challenges the current laureate

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['A4 sheet 3' is my entry in the bizarre category, and some explanation is necessary. It is a piece of "found" poetry. Richard Pickard, an old friend of mine and a fellow programmer-type, suffered a stroke and lost all movement in his right side, plus the power of speech and writing. As he began to recover, his (literally) cack-handed attempts at writing produced a sequence of strange notes: mixtures of real and invented words which, although nonsense, somehow have the cadences of English and, in my opinion, an unexpected beauty.

Richard has made a near-full recovery, thanks for asking, and has documented his experience in his book Twicks Twicks Out Twice, from which the following sample is taken with permission - VS]

A4 sheet 3

Wed 22th March.

(Hope the is a xif out)
(the adtoan adw are)

March curve courve courve to kend
           and spare can,

Mars kye is at a taker for to
           repearet of freedoms to cermatorny
           with with & certermony rec#mony
                                                       say ret#apat#

A cure for Alzheimer's?

The nursing homes of England
Resound to mousy click.
All would-be silver surfers
Reserve your places quick!
Miss Cadogan's been hogging the Dell since eight
And it's simply not done to remonstrate
As she once proved to the late
Mrs Thesiger
Who daringly plucked her gown:
Brought the server down.
A light on in the Rose Room:
Nurse Ng breaks out the meds
To dose her naughty flock whom
She won't find in their beds.
They're restaging the war in the downstairs lounge
For their YouTube video;
All go
At the nursing homes of England.

The nursing homes of England,
You may not realise,
Are fast becoming hotbeds
Of online enterprise.
And I doubt they'll ever live down the farce
Of Miss J's addiction to figurine glass
Unloaded on the grass
By the courier.
By busily bidding all day
She'd quite cleaned out eBay.
Miss Clwyd, I should mention,
As gentle as a lamb:
She supplements her pension
By sending filthy spam.
She's blacklisted from here to kingdom come
But all to no avail;
Junk mail
From the nursing homes of England.

[Apologies to Noël Coward - VS]

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