Now that poetry is so popular, it is welcome news that a poetry theme park is to open. I was one of the few to be asked to visit before the official opening. This was my review, also available in England Underwater.
You enter by driving through the legs
of an eighty foot statue of Cecil Day-Lewis.
Priority parking is reserved for Forward winners.
New for this summer is the John Ashbery Simulator
where you sit inside a darkened room
waiting for a thought that never comes.
At the Stephen Spender Bungee Catapult,
you will be attached to a giant recreation
of the poet’s braces, stretched back and hurled
ninety foot into the air; please note that
there is a long waiting time for this attraction.
After lunch, why not try the Walt Whitman Waltzer,
where you can control the speed and direction
of your own whisky tumbler? During the ride
a picture is taken of you at the precise moment
you realise you will never write anything as beautiful as:
I am he that walks with the tender and growing night.
In the Medieval English Poetry Zone,
You will be asked to construct a single line
containing three words beginning with B
while being chased by Grendel’s Mother.
Under construction is Iceland on Ice,
where you will enter a perfect recreation
of the frozen landscape, paired with a slightly
lazier poet and asked to write letters home.
In the London Zone, you climb into a carriage
which resembles a 1963 Ford Zephyr,
with a copy of Ariel on the back seat.
You are pulled through a dimly lit tunnel
and arrive at a party where a man in a beard
and polo neck is reading from a thick folder.
Meanwhile the woman with the black eyeliner
and leather mini skirt who has been staring
at you, moves across the room and whispers:
Keep your hands clear until the safety barrier lifts.