Here’s a new poem by Wendy Cope published in the current Spectator. I hope she’ll forgive the flagrant breach of copyright and see this instead as a promo. Its sentiments are very contemporary.
I hope I can trust you, friends, not to use our relationship
As an excuse for an unsolicited ego-trip.
I have seen enough of them at funerals and they make me cross.
At this one, though deceased, I aim to be the boss.
If you are asked to talk about me for five minutes, please do not go on for eight
There is a strict timetable at the crematorium and nobody wants to be late
If invited to read a poem, just read the bloody poem. If requested
To sing a song, just sing it, as suggested,
And don’t say anything. Though I will not be there,
Glancing pointedly at my watch and fixing the speaker with a malevolent stare,
Remember that this was how I always reacted
When I felt that anybody’s speech, sermon or poetry reading was becoming too protracted.
Yes, I was intolerant, and not always polite
And if there aren’t many people at my funeral, it will serve me right.