Roger McGough's The State of Poetry is a splendid Pocket Penguin. It was published in 2005 as part of the Penguin 70 series to commemorate 70 years of Penguin books.
The State of Poetry contains 54 pages of short amusing poems a la McGough. At 1.50p. McGough's collection will cost you less than a Sunday newspaper. If you're a dedicated Financial Times reader you might save yourself millions.
The cover artwork is a delight to behold, with its neatly drawn map of The State of Poetry, showing the sea, the mountains and the roads; place names include Shakespeare's Range, Wordsworth Plateau, Mt Byron, Mt Blake, Betjeman Bay, Shelley, Point Hardy and there's even a small town called Anon.
Poet-in-Residence's favourite poem in the book is the following:
Hill of Beans
'Life ain't nuttin' but a hill o' beans,'
drawled Granma, and removing
her corncob pipe, spat a stream
of baccy juice into the empty firegrate
before settling back with a jug of bourbon
into her old rocking chair.
To think, only this time last year
she was working for the Welsh Water Authority.
George Orwell says: Penguin Books are splendid value for sixpence.
Poet-in-Residence says: Penguin Books are splendid value for thirty bob.