Differences of Opinion

I’ve posted poems by Wendy Cope before because I love her – sometimes dark – sense of humour. Even though this poem has that same sharp touch, I don’t consider it ‘funny’. It’s part one of her two-part poem ‘Differences of Opinion’. This part basically tackles mansplaining: how, as a woman, you can try all you want, he just won’t listen and thinks he’s educating you. Probably very recognisable for most women, hopefully a lesson for men. I read the last line with a sigh, which clearly illustrates that Wendy Cope fully captured the female sentiment in such a situation.

I

HE TELLS HER

He tells her that the earth is flat —
He knows the facts, and that is that.
In altercations fierce and long
She tries her best to prove him wrong.
But he has learned to argue well.
He calls her arguments unsound
And often asks her not to yell.
She cannot win. He stands his ground.

The planet goes on being round.

Wendy Cope


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