Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Comic Poets of the Nineteenth Century

W. Davenport Adams (ed) - Comic Poets of the Nineteenth Century (1876)

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The last post was also humorous poetry but how can I help it?  April is the month of both poetry and fools.  This volume again has Carroll, Gilbert and Harte along with George Meredith, Austin Dobson and others making the tone a bit more toward the poetry than the comic.  "A Song of Good Greeks", for instance, is about how important classical Greek is to European thought.  It has such laugh riots as "For never was language at all,/So magical-swelling,/So spirit-compelling,/As Homer rolled,/In billows of gold".

Still, there's a collection of (printable) limericks (Walter Parke's "Nursery Nonsense"), extravagantly silly wordplay (Pennell's "How the Daughters Come Down at Dunoon"), a ballad parody (Oliver Wendell Holmes' "The Spectre Pig"), a Chaucer parody (Parke's "Ye Clerke of ye Wethere"), a tribute to salads (Mortimer Collins' "Salad") and so forth.