Stevie Smith

(20 September 1902 – 7 March 1971 / Kingston upon Hull)

The Jungle Husband


Dearest Evelyn, I often think of you
Out with the guns in the jungle stew
Yesterday I hittapotamus
I put the measurements down for you but they got lost in the fuss
It's not a good thing to drink out here
You know, I've practically given it up dear.
Tomorrow I am going alone a long way
Into the jungle. It is all grey
But green on top
Only sometimes when a tree has fallen
The sun comes down plop, it is quite appalling.
You never want to go in a jungle pool
In the hot sun, it would be the act of a fool
Because it's always full of anacondas, Evelyn, not looking ill-fed
I'll say. So no more now, from your loving husband Wilfred.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • P W (5/1/2007 3:58:00 AM)

    stiff upper lip described beautifully with more than a hint of matrimonial apathy. I love this poem it is redolent of Victorian attitudes. It speaks of bewilderment yet of undeserved superiority. I could write a thousand words to start describing what stevie smith achieved in a hundred (Report) Reply

  • William Jackson (5/21/2006 7:55:00 PM)

    I really like this poem. The first time I saw it was in an anthology of poetry selected by Griselda Greaves called The Burning Thorn, a most excellent book which I have treasured for many many years. My students also have loved this book and have practically worn the cover off of it. (Report) Reply

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