Friday, September 26, 2008

How Pleasant? (Notes on Twee #12)

"There is no form poetry can take unworthy of our consideration, even our admiration. When a new edition of The English Poets on the Chalmers model appears, it would be incomplete without, for instance, the very representative work of Edward Lear… I find in them evidence of very painful emotional upset in the poet's mind; and the song of Calico Pie presenting grief in terms of childish invention is to me as poignant as the idea of Hamlet played by Burbage the actor as a comic part. Adoption of this pseudo-infantility of expression must surely denote suffering in an extreme form. I say this in all seriousness."

— Robert Graves, from "What Is Bad Poetry?" in Poetic Unreason, 22-23