I’m on the last couple of exercises in the Stephen Fry poetry book. Exercise 19 calls for two sonnets on the subject of ‘Electoral Apathy’; not something I’d have picked myself but it’s timely. One is Petrarchan, the other Shakespearean – the two have different rhyme schemes. Here is the first.
Election year! Let all Australians gripe:
“No politician’s better than his brother,
A bastard always wins it, so why bother?”
Psephologists, those connoisseurs of tripe,
Admire the chewy texture – stale, but ripe –
Of numbers, saying “Looks like it’s another
Uninspiring race. The Premier’s mother
Will maybe take an interest in the hype;
Nobody else.” But let us bear, with grace,
The fact that our elections are such bores:
To cavil against luxury’s obscene.
Were we born in a different time or place,
Where regimes change with coups, or civil wars,
We’d long to live where voting is routine.