It’s that time of the week again, the day you all dread, you’re meant to be relaxing and mentally preparing yourself for another week but, to your horror, a Sunday Self Review! No one can guess what ghastly abomination of literature will be dredged out from the writer’s past, you simply know that some things should remain buried… preferably in a steel coffin, under six feet of concrete, in the middle of nowhere. But it’s too late for that, the crypt is now empty, you feel the words coming, and now without much ado, it is time for Sunday’s Self Review.

Last week I said I’d try to find a more upbeat poem of mine to review, no small task, but for you my near non-existent audience, I found one.
At the time this poem was written I was working in the accounts department of a global company headquartered in Central London. This meant I had to wake up very early in order to commute to work. This left me understandably tired in the mornings. On one of said mornings as I sat at my desk trying to come to life with a cup of coffee inspiration struck me. Actually, that’s a lie. What really happened was that I grabbed inspiration by its neck and throttled it for not being around lately. Then, using a free ten minutes of my day I produced this poetic mess to ensure I still had the ability to write, if only poorly.
The poem is titled, An Ode To Coffee.

An Ode to Coffee.

How I enjoy my morning coffee,
Milk and two sugars stirred thoroughly.
I will gladly spend up to six hundred a year,
To drink that drink which I hold so dear.

Whether in a mug or polystyrene cup,
You’re still so enjoyable to drink up.
Down the hatch and down the throat,
Oh sweet nectar you keep me afloat.

If ever you were to leave my life,
You’d leave me in turmoil; trouble and strife.
Here comes a coffee shop on my path,
Four quid for a latte; you’re having a laugh.

A masterpiece I know. Of course any sane person can usually tell when a poem is going to be bad when it’s an ode to something. When a poem is an ode to something warning sirens start going off in the human brain so as to allow portions of it to protectively shut down less they suffer permanent damage.
There probably hasn’t been a worse ode since an ‘Ode To A Small Lump Of Green Putty I Found In My Armpit One Midsummer Morning,’ but I think mine comes close.
Anyway, unto the review.

Bless my stars is that a consistent rhyme scheme throughout the poem? I do believe it is. AABB CCDD EEFF. Decent use of a partial rhyme with coffee and thoroughly. Actually don’t have anything to add in terms of rhyme scheme, I think I did it quite well the first time.

In terms of the rhythm of the poem, the syllable count works nicely, first verse goes 9,9,12,9. By using multiples of three it flows more smoothly, whilst the usage of twelve syllables in the third line ensures that it isn’t repetitive.
Unfortunately this isn’t continued in the second verse, instead it goes 11,10,7,9. This isn’t terrible once you’ve broken them down into their two couplets. Eleven to ten flows almost imperceptibly and seven to nine feels like a rising count. Together this feels like someone miss played a few notes.
The third verse goes 9,10,9,11, an improvement upon the second but still weaker than the first. Would be more effective if the final line was ten syllables.

Lastly I’ll go over some of the content in the poem. I do take my coffee with milk and two sugars unless the coffee itself is smooth and refined, it rarely is. The six hundred figure is accurate, or at least it was at the time, I worked it out be calculating the cost of my morning coffee at the train station times the number of work days in a year. Caffeine, whether it be in coffee or in tea, is my life blood and was at the time the only thing keeping me alive in the morning. I ended the poem on a funny line, it’s funny because it’s true; besides it closed the poem nicely.

Alright I think that wraps up this poem and this week. Next session it’ll be back to despair and misery, perhaps one about unrequited love, something from the hormonal horror period of my life. Regardless, que sera sera, what will be will be.

See you next time folks, have a great day.

J.P.R. Campbell


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