The latest challenge called for love poems written by one contemporary politician to another.
Virginia Price Evans, writing on behalf of Jeremy Corbyn, channelled Betjeman in a bid to woo the PM: ‘Theresa M May, Theresa M May, I sigh and I die for our special day…’. Frank Upton’s Jeremy Hunt clearly thought that a spot of Eliot might melt the heart of Baroness Primarolo: ‘In the room the women come and go/ Talking of “Dawn Primarolo”…’. And W.J. Webster imagined Nicola Sturgeon making eyes across the Channel at M. Macron:
The Auld Alliance, sealed long since,
Served both our nations well:
As two made one again, my prince,
We’d give the English hell.
The winners, who were tricky to choose in a witty and accomplished entry, are rewarded with £25. Frank McDonald pockets £30.
Wee gallus queen without a croon,
Weel-versed in law and smartly shoon,
More canny than this auld buffoon,
A feisty fish,
I oft-times look ye up and doon
And sweetly wish.
Ah, you are blest compared wi me,
A fighter fair for a’ tae see.
You blaw yer nose and folk agree;
You dae nae wrong.
An angel wi a law degree,
You sing ma song.
From Alec do these verses come
Tae Scotland’s heid from Scotland’s bum.
Dear Tessa, I’m Putin, the Beast from the East.
I’m crazy about you. I’m rising like yeast.
I’m virile as Satan, as hard as the knout.
I’m the hoodlum your mother forewarned you
You may fool other men with your ladylike pose,
But I know that you throb from your top to your
When you meet a wrong number who’s up for
With Byronic appeal and a nuke in his pants.
We are neither vanilla — you have your shoes
And I have some military widgets I use —
So together we’ll cover the spectrum of sex
From the ferally raw to the weird and complex.
Forget Trump and Macron, they’re weaklings and
We’ll live in a realm where we make our own rules,
And hit every spot our libidos allow
As undying love meets apocalypse now.
Vince, I think about you daily
As I steer the ship of state:
Here you dance the foxtrot gaily
While I battle waves of hate —
How I love your perfect gait,
How I’d love to share your ceilidh.
Yours the Europhilic smile,
Righteous, you remain invictus:
You Liberals are so versatile —
All I have’s this shocking rictus —
Oh your grace, your Benedictus!
How I love your guile, your style!
In the party conference season,
When it squats, the Brexit toad,
Bring my pumps, and, though it’s treason,
Waltz me down your middle road.
Shall I compare the summer, Mrs May,
To that brief spell when thou wast all the fashion,
Before the fall — vox populi, vox dei —
The people spoke; yet hear my words of passion.
Perchance, should nanny let me hold your hand
I’d see, although my rimless specs are foggy,
Thou art indeed the fairest in the land,
I’d curl up on thy lap, a faithful Moggy.
Come live with me, our marriage won’t be Gay,
Though tempora mutantur, change is not
The road down which reactionaries stray,
Rough winds won’t shake us as we tie the knot.
Yet, should there be a final fall from grace
I’m in the wings, prepared to take thy place.
How do I love thee? Lemme count the ways:
That friendly grin, that wise, paternal gaze,
That noble face, that fine patrician nose,
That orange windswept hair that almost glows;
The patriotic Presidential skill
With which you urge your fans to maim and kill;
Your subtle way with women — grab her, nail her;
Your midnight tweets that threaten Venezuela;
Your undisputed art of making deals
By cutting useless costs like Meals on Wheels
And free school lunches (let those losers bitch!);
Your deep concern to feed the hungry rich;
The courage that enabled you to stare
Directly at the sun! Who else would dare?
Dear President, I know that you’ll agree:
They’re countless, all the ways we both love me.
At Cheltenham Ladies’ College we girls gathered
Of the horny-handed males whose talk is tough.
Could that be the explanation why I now have a
On what Teresa’d call ‘a bit of rough’?
Some may say you’re dinosaurish just because
you’re old and boorish,
But I quiver at your caveman quality,
When you utter lurid stories about what you’d do to
My soul is whimpering: ‘Do it please to me!’
In the Commons when you face me, I am longing:
‘Oh embrace me,
Though our silly parties keep us so apart!’
You’re the Beast and you’re a bruiser, you’re
politically a loser,
But Dennis Skinner, you’re the winner of my heart.
Your next challenge is to submit a sonnet containing household tips. Please email entries to email@example.com by midday on 20 September.