Thought for today…..Let me be your vacuum cleaner?

Wedding Poetry – To include or not to include in your ceremony, that is the question?

So, you may be considering including a poem or two in your ceremony.

Yes I say, do it!

I’ve probably heard close to a thousand poems read at wedding ceremonies over the years.  Back a few years ago, when I was a Registrar, me and my colleague would internally role our eyes in despair as the same prose were read again and again at the many ceremonies we officiated at and God forbid if someone started reading that exert from The Owl and the Pussy Cat! I won’t go on….

Please don’t get me wrong, I love a good poem but like all of us, I have my favorites.

I struggled with old English literature at school.  Shakespeare, I didn’t have the foggiest! Friends of mine would put up their hands and seamlessly translate his blank verse to my utter wonderment. Hence, it won’t surprise you to hear, my favorite wedding poems are of a more modern ilk.

Plus, I do like a giggle or a modern twist on romance.

And my tip when it comes to choosing poetry for your ceremony is, choose the person reading it wisely!!

If Auntie Sandra who you adore, is prone to blub or tends to talk at the volume of a mouse stuck under a floorboard, she’s probably not the wisest choice!

So, in an attempt not to bombard you, here’s my 3 suggestions.  

1. ‘Have You Got a Biro I Can Borrow?’ by Clive James

I had no idea TV personality Clive James was a poet until I heard this poem read at a ceremony.  I used to love his sarcastic Australian dead pan delivery on the Clive James Show in the 90’s.

Have you got a biro I can borrow?

 I’d like to write your name

 On the palm of my hand, on the walls of the hall

 The roof of the house, right across the land

 So when the sun comes up tomorrow

 It’ll look to this side of the hard-bitten planet

 Like a big yellow button with your name written on it

 Have you got a biro I can borrow?

 I’d like to write some lines

 In praise of your knee, and the back of your neck

 And the double-decker bus that brings you to me

 So when the sun comes up tomorrow

 It’ll shine on a world made richer by a sonnet

 And a half-dozen epics as long as the Aeneid

 Oh give me a pen and some paper

 Give me a chisel or a camera

 A piano and a box of rubber bands

 I need room for choreography

 And a darkroom for photography

 Tie the brush into my hands

Have you got a biro I can borrow?

 I’d like to write your name

 From the belt of Orion to the share of the Plough

 The snout of the Bear to the belly of the Lion

 So when the sun goes down tomorrow

 There’ll never be a minute

 Not a moment of the night that hasn’t got you in it

2. ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ John Cooper Clarke 

Many of my generation might remember this poem from GCSE English days.  Just because it’s well known, doesn’t make it dull to hear read aloud.  I love it!

Plus you can always get the evening DJ to include the Artic Monkeys version in his playlist, see if anyone spots it!

Let me be your vacuum cleaner 

breathing in your dust 

let me be your ford Cortina 

I will never rust 

if you like your coffee hot

let me be your coffee pot

you call the shots

I wanna be yours

let me be your raincoat

for those frequent rainy days 

let me be your dreamboat 

when you wanna sail away

let me be your teddy bear

take me with you anywhere I don’t care

I wanna be yours 

let me be your electric meter 

I will not run out

let me be the electric heater 

you get cold without 

let me be your setting lotion 

hold your hair with deep devotion 

deep as the deep Atlantic ocean 

that’s how deep is my emotion 

I don’t wanna be hers I wanna be yours

3. ‘To keep your marriage brimming’ Ogden Nash

And this final choice is short and sweet but always raises a smile in a ceremony. 

It’s best delivered by a confident parent of the bride/groom who can pre-amble before reciting it.  The idea being, they take time building the anticipation, as they prepare to impart their words of wisdom to the couple.  Wisdom gleaned from their many many years of experience with marriage and life etc… get the picture……..

“To keep your marriage brimming,

 With love in the loving cup,

 Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;

 Whenever you’re right, shut up.”

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Sophie Withers

Sophie Withers

I'm driven to create warm, smiley, one-off wedding and funeral ceremonies that are remembered for all the RIGHT reasons.

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