Pandemic Poems (ii)

An HHS member living in N8 has been busy writing her response to Covid 19 in verse form. Here is the second of her poems; a serious and respectful parody of ‘Naming of Parts’, a World War Two poem in which Henry Reed lightly but grimly muses on the lack of equipment for the soldiers’ training for battle.

Do read the original poem which can be found in poetry books and on websites.

Naming of Parts (2020) after Henry Reed

Today we have naming of parts. Yesterday
We had daily cleaning. And tomorrow morning
We shall have what to do after incubating. But today,
We have naming of parts. Forsythia
Glistens like coral in all the neighbouring gardens
And today we have naming of parts.

This is the mechanical ventilator. And this
Is a face-mask ventilator, whose use you will see
When you are given your gloves. And this is a pandemic ventilator
Which in your case you have not got. The branches
Hold in the garden their silent, eloquent gestures
Which in our case we have not got.

And this is a virus test kit: it is perfectly easy
To put a swab in the back of the throat or the nose: and these
Are all the ingredients for the virus tests
Which in our case we have not got; and the pear blossom
Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards
For today we have naming of parts.