The Suburban Classes

By Stevie Smith 1902–1971 Stevie Smith
There is far too much of the suburban classes   
Spiritually not geographically speaking. They’re asses.   
Menacing the greatness of our beloved England, they lie   
Propagating their kind in an eightroomed stye.   
Now I have a plan which I will enfold   
(There’s this to be said for them, they do as they’re told)   
Then tell them their country’s in mortal peril   
They believed it before and again will not cavil   
Put it in caption form firm and slick
If they see it in print it is bound to stick:   
‘Your King and your Country need you Dead’
You see the idea? Well, let it spread.
Have a suitable drug under string and label   
Free for every Registered Reader’s table.
For the rest of the gang who are not patriotic   
I’ve another appeal they’ll discover hypnotic:   
Tell them it’s smart to be dead and won’t hurt   
And they’ll gobble up drug as they gobble up dirt.

Stevie Smith, “The Suburban Classes” from New Selected Poems. Copyright © 1972 by Stevie Smith. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.

Source: The New Selected Poems of Stevie Smith (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1988)

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Poet Stevie Smith 1902–1971


Subjects Class, History & Politics, Social Commentaries, Humor & Satire

Poetic Terms Couplet

 Stevie  Smith


Calling Stevie Smith's Not Waving but Drowning "the best collection of new poems to appear in 1957," Poetry contributor David Wright observed that "as one of the most original women poets now writing [Stevie Smith] seems to have missed most of the public accolades bestowed by critics and anthologists. One reason may be that not only does she belong to no 'school'—whether real or invented as they usually are—but her work is so . . .

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SUBJECT Class, History & Politics, Social Commentaries, Humor & Satire


Poetic Terms Couplet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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