A Sonnet a Day Gives an MP Relief from the Fray; AGENDA

The Birmingham Post (England), June 27, 2008 | Go to article overview

A Sonnet a Day Gives an MP Relief from the Fray; AGENDA


Byline: CHRIS MONCRIEFF

A latter-day William Shakespeare has been discovered in the House of Commons.

And it is in the unlikely form of the diminutive left-wing Labour MP Harry Cohen who has taken up the pen where the Swan of Avon left off.

Mr Cohen, a stern critic of many of the Government's policies, "escapes" from the treadmill of politics by writing sonnets.

They range from passionate love poems - "the taste of your kiss" - to a damning condemnation of the war in Iraq and the "one big lie" of the socalled weapons of mass destruction.

But Mr Cohen, MP for Leyton and Wanstead, seems to have been overwhelmed by the muse - he does not stint his output.

Astonishingly, he has written more than 200 sonnets since last autumn - which works out at about one a day.

Modestly he says: "Although it's not quite Shakespeare, I find that being creative is a real release from politics."

Here are two examples from the pen of the new-found in-house Bard of Westminster: LOVE SONNET

Lightness of touch. Fingertips on your skin.

The density of air, our lips brushing.

Enjoying the scent you wear, breathing in.

First course of love. …

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