Thursday, April 1, 2010

Poetry Quote of the Day: Edward Young

"We are all born originals---why is it so many of us die copies?" ---Edward Young, poet (1683-1765), as quoted in A Word a Day by Anu Garg.

And should you have time on your hands, don't miss Young's essay "On Lyrick Poetry" which is filled with such gems as

"bad Poets, that is Poets in general, are esteem'd, and really are the most vain, the most irritable, and most ridiculous Set of men upon earth."

 He also calls "the Poetic Clan" "Genus Irritabile among mankind."

However, in my mind, this last quote (which ties into today's admonition against winding up a pale copy of yourself) is the real killer, and it's what I find irresistible in any form of writing, be it novels, poetry or drama:

"It holds true in this Province of writing, as in war, "The more danger, the more honour." lt must be very Enterprising, it must (in Shakespear's Style) have hairbreadth 'Scapes; and often tread the very brink of Error" 


  1. Happy Poetry Month!

    I hope to never die a copy.

  2. Thanks for the quotes! There's something about a quotation that lends itself to almost literally being carried around in a pocket for the day.

    Interested to hear below about the structure of the Frost novel, because that's mine also. Seems like the Internet is almost the main venue for Poetry Month!


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