A Poetic Response to Tumps by Wendy Cope

I hope I’m not one of Wendy’s tumps.
That would make me feel very sad.
It’s not that I’m not useless, because
Let’s face it – I am pretty bad.

And I’m definitely a poet:
Someone who creates things that rhyme.
But not just on special occasions
I’m doing it all of the time.

I can also confirm that I’m male.
At least, I was the last time I checked.
But I’m not proposing to prove it –
Just take it as read I’m correct.

I don’t have a problem with these things.
She can call me an ump any day.
It’s the ‘typically’ that I object to;
I’m useless in my own special way.

Reading a map’s not a problem,
And I’m fully licensed to drive.
And so long as I’ve got my fingers,
I can do enough sums to survive.

I’m punctual and smart and efficient
And not just at the bar.
I do like a drink (and who doesn’t?)
But I rarely take it too far.

It’s other things that make me useless:
I can’t play the drums, sculpt, or draw.
I’m utterly rubbish at skiing,
And in football – unable to score.

So let’s forget the ‘t’ at the beginning,
Although the change will be quite small.
We’ll make it a ‘u’ for ‘unusually’.
I’m not like the tumps. Not at all.

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