Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Quote of the Day (Jonathan Swift, With Advice for an Aspiring Poet)

“Consult yourself; and if you find
    A powerful Impulse urge your mind,
     Impartial judge within your Breast
     What Subject you can manage best;
     Whether your Genius most inclines
     To satire, praise, or hum’rous Lines,
     To Elegies in mournful Tone,
     Or Prologue sent from Hand unknown.
     Then, rising with Aurora's Light,
     The Muse invok’d, sit down to write;
     Blot out, correct, insert, refine,
     Enlarge, diminish, interline;
     Be mindful, when Invention fails,
     To scratch your Head, and bite your Nails.”—Anglo-Irish minister and satirist Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), “On Poetry: A Rapsody,” in Restoration and Augustan Poets: Milton to Goldsmith, edited by W. H. Auden and Norman Holmes Pearson (1965)

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