Sunday, December 04, 2005

Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know

Kleinheider got me thinking about Lord Byron, who, frankly, was a shitty poet. The Complete Poetical Works takes up almost 900 pages, and yet, the man only had a couple of good poems*. But the man could score women, even by proxy. I, for instance, got on a plane for the first time in my whole life seven years ago to fly to Boston to see the man who emailed me:
And wilt thou weep when I am low? Sweet lady! speak those words again: Yet if they would grieve thee, say not so-- I would not give that bosom pain.
Why? Who knows? Why do bass players cause the girls to swoon? Why does a nice fitting suit, especially a tux, make almost any man irresistible? Why does Byron's shitty poetry cause women to do ridiculous things? It's just a mystery of the universe. *For those of you who are curious, they are "She Walks in Beauty," and "So, We'll Go No More a Roving," and bits of "Manfred" are fun. But it's a well-known, though little-spoken fact that British Romantic poetry is much better by reputation than by actual reading.


Blogger bridgett said...

Amen. Lamb, Shelley...four or five good poems in the lot. Coleridge has his moments, but goes on (yes he does) like the thrumming of a maid who found a favorite lick on her dulcimer and just can't quit. I tried to return to Wordsworth a few years ago and the work I thought was so significant as an undergraduate just doesn't compel me now. Keats is like ABBA -- the Greatest Hits is all ye know and all ye need to know. Even the paintings often look like something churned out by an earnest 19th century Thomas Kinkade. (John Constable and his freakin' mills and haymows come to mind.)

Vast amounts of brainspace taken up by crap. That's the liberal arts for you.

12/04/2005 09:01:00 PM  
Blogger Ivy, the Great and Powerful said...

So We'll Go No More a-Roving is one of my favorite poems of all time. :)

12/04/2005 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...


I hate Byron.

And there's always the matter of his creepy-ass doppleganger.

Best line in any book I've read in the past 3 years?

(this is from memory, cause I don't have the book in front of it may be mangled...)

"As far as [he] was concerned, Byron was free to shoot himself any day of the week."

--Johnathon Strange & Mr. Norrell

12/05/2005 02:16:00 AM  
Blogger KibitzingShiksa said...

You mean I'm not alone in thinking the Romantics were overrated? Oh, thank God! :)

12/05/2005 06:57:00 AM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

As they said in "Blackadder"--

"what's so great about running around Italy in a puffy shirt trying to get laid?"

12/05/2005 09:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Sarcastro said...

What's not great about running around Italy in a puffy shirt trying to get laid?

12/05/2005 10:43:00 AM  

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