New Zealand Listener - - CONTENTS - Gabe Atkin­son

Read­ers were in­vited to sub­mit verse be­gin­ning or end­ing with the line I was an­gry with my friend, which opens Wil­liam Blake’s poem A Poi­son Tree.

Tau­ranga’s Carol Gar­den writes: I was an­gry with my friend,/He should have known me bet­ter./I closed my Face­book ac­count forth­with/And de­friended him by let­ter. From John Jones of Waik­ouaiti: I was an­gry with my friend,/How could he be so crass?/Pinot noir with bouil­l­abaisse/ Shows such a lack of class.

Dunedin’s El­iz­a­beth Duke tells a calami­tous tale: My trusty friend en­cour­aged me/to share his fi­nance com­pany./”Ig­nore that ‘joint and sev­eral’ clause,/a relic of out­moded laws.”/I won­der where my friend could be;/the liq­uida­tor picked on me./My new ca­reer was at an end/I was an­gry with my friend.

From Kaye Ben­netts of Whanga­paraoa: I was an­gry with my friend,/And I hate her more each minute./ She bought a dress the same as mine/And looks much bet­ter in it. And Lois Priebee of Wainuiomata writes: I was an­gry with my friend/Be­gan to doubt her loy­alty/She flat­ters with a side­long glance/In­gra­ti­ates with sub­tlety/But I be­lieve I’ll win her back/ With pa­tience and some bribery/When din­ner time comes round again/She’ll wag her tail, and just for me.

But He­lensville’s Anne Martin wins with: I was an­gry with my friend/And bluntly told her so./I pointed out her many faults/I felt she ought to know./But I wish now I’d been kinder,/I’m re­morse­ful as can be./She’s won an is­land cruise for two,/And isn’t tak­ing me.

Next con­test, send a brief vari­a­tion of the poem A Visit from St Ni­cholas, be­gin­ning ‘Twas a month after the elec­tion … En­tries, for the prize be­low, close at noon on Thursday, Oc­to­ber 26.

Sub­mis­sions: wordsworth@lis­tener.co.nz or Wordsworth, NZ Lis­tener, Pri­vate Bag 92512, Welles­ley St, Auck­land 1141. Please in­clude your ad­dress.

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