Every Man His Own Poet; Or The Inspired Singer's Recipe Book

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A. Williams, 1879 - Poetry - 32 pages
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Page 19 - A POEM LIKE MR. MATTHEW ARNOLD. TAKE one soulful of involuntary unbelief, -which has been previously well flavored with self-satisfied despair. Add to this one beautiful text of Scripture. Mix these well together ; and as soon as ebullition commences, grate in finely a few regretful allusions to the New Testament and the Lake of Tiberias, one constellation of stars, half-a-dozen allusions to the nineteenth century, one to Goethe, one to Mont Blanc, or the Lake of Geneva ; and one also, if possible,...
Page 29 - Place them in a heap upon the oppressed country ; season plentifully with very coarse expressions ; and on the top carefully arrange your patriot, garnished with laurel or with parsley ; surround with artificial hopes for the future, which are never meant to be tasted. This kind of poem is cooked in verbiage, flavored with Liberty, the taste of which is much heightened by the introduction of a few high gods, and the game of Fortune.
Page 9 - OF THE NATURE OF POETRY. JOETRY, as practised by the latest masters, is the art of expressing what is too foolish, too profane, or too indecent to be expressed in any other way. And thus, just as a consummate cook will prepare a most delicate repast out of the most poor materials, so will the modern poet concoct us a most popular poem from the weakest emotions, and the most tiresome platitudes. The only difference is, that the cook would prefer good materials if he could get them, whilst the modern...
Page 28 - Take a couple of fine deadly sins, and let them hang before your eyes until they become racy. Then take them down, dissect them, and stew them for some time in a solution of weak remorse; after which they are to be devilled with mock-despair.
Page 10 - ... else but animal matter in the composition of his dishes, which, it must be confessed, are somewhat unwholesome in consequence ; whilst the late Mr. Wordsworth, on the contrary, confined himself almost exclusively to the confection of primrose pudding and flint soup, flavored with the lesser celandine, and only now and then a beggar-boy boiled down in it to give it a color. The robins and drowned lambs which he was wont to use, when an additional piquancy was needed, were employed so sparingly...
Page 7 - Free-thought, was first a work of inspiration, secondly of science, and lastly now of trick. At its first stage it was open to only here and there a genius ; at its next to all intelligent men ; and at its third to all the human race.
Page 18 - Take, then, one blameless prig. Set him upright in the middle of a round table, and place beside him a beautiful wife, who cannot abide prigs. Add to these one marred goodly man; and tie the three together in a bundle with a link or two of Destiny. Proceed, next, to surround this group with a large number of men and women of the nineteenth century, in fancy-ball costume, flavoured with a great many very possible vices, and a few impossible virtues.
Page 14 - Take two large and tender human hearts, which match one another perfectly. Arrange these close together, but preserve them from actual contact by placing between them some cruel barrier. Wound them both in several places, and insert through the openings thus made a fine stuffing of wild yearnings, hopeless tenderness, and a general admiration for stars. Then completely cover up one heart with a sufficient quantity of chill church-yard mould, which may be garnished according to taste with dark waving...
Page 19 - ... carefully below swearing-point, for the whole time. If he once boils over into any natural action or exclamation, he is forthwith worthless, and you must get another. Next break the wife's reputation into small pieces; and dust them well over the blameless prig. Then take a few vials of tribulation and wrath, and empty these generally over the whole ingredients of your poem: and, taking the sword of the heathen, cut into small pieces the greater part of your minor characters. Then wound slightly...
Page 20 - Tiberias, one constellation of stars, half-a-dozen allusions to the nineteenth century, one to Goethe, one to Mont Blanc, or the Lake of Geneva; and one also, if possible, to some personal bereavement. Flavour the whole with a mouthful of 'faiths' and 'infinites' and a mixed mouthful of 'passions', 'finites', and 'yearnings'.

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