Did You Know

Did you know that Ralph Waldo Emerson spoke of Tennyson as “a beautiful half of a poet.”

Percy Bysshe Shelley of Wordsworth: “What a beastly and pitiful wretch that Wordsworth… I can compare him with no one but Simonides, that flatterer of the Sycilian tyrants.”

Lytton Strachey of Alexander Pope: “The verses when they were written, resembled nothing so much as spoonfuls of boiling oil, ladled out by a fiendish monkey at an upstairs window upon such of the passers-by whom the wretch had a grudge against.”

Charles Dickens on Thomas Gray: “No man walked down to posterity with so small a book under his arm.”

Friedrich Nietzsche on Dante Alighieri: “A hyena that wrote poetry in tombs.”

William Cobbett on Virgil: “A crawling and disgusting parasite, a base scoundrel, and pander to unnatural passions.”

Charles Baudelaire of George Sand: “She is above all and more than anything else, of a cow-like stupidity.”

William Cobbett of Milton: “The whole of Milton’s poem (Paradise Lost) is such barbarous trash, so outrageously offensive to reason and to common sense that one is naturally led to wonder how it can have been tolerated by a people, among whom astronomy, navigation, and chemistry are understood.”

Lord Byron of Keats: “Here is Johnny Keats’ piss-a-bed poetry. No more Keats, I entreat; flay him alive; if some of you don’t I must skin him myself; there is no bearing the driveling idiotism.”

Martin Amis of Malcolm Lowry: “While most schoolboys dreamt of becoming engine-drivers or cattle punchers, little Malcolm dreamt of becoming an alcoholic. And the dream came true. Excluding a few dry-outs, in hospitals and prisons, and the very occasional self-improved prohibition, Malcolm Lowry was shit-faced for 35 years.”

Dylan Thomas of Edith Sitwell: “So you’ve been reviewing Edith Sitwell’s latest piece of virgin dung, have you? Isn’t she a poisonous thing of a woman, lying, concealing, flipping, plagiarizing, misquoting, and being as clever a crooked publicist as ever.”

Alexander Pope of Colley Cibber:
“Cibber! Write all thy verses upon Glasses,
The only way to save ‘em from our Arses.”


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5 Responses to Did You Know

  1. I’m wondering which person is the most pompous – the one making the comment or the subject of said comment?

  2. Pingback: Even Women Writers Are Not Spared | Ramblings

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