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Every Man His Own Poet Or, The Inspired Singer's Recipe Book   By: (1849-1923)

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First Page:

EVERY MAN HIS OWN POET.

EVERY MAN HIS OWN POET:

OR,

The Inspired Singer's Recipe Book.

BY A

NEWDIGATE PRIZEMAN.

Nuper ventosa isthæc et enormis loquacitas animos juvenum ad magna surgentes veluti pestilenti quodam sidere afflavit. PETRONIUS.

Oxford: THOS. SHRIMPTON & SON, BROAD STREET. 1872.

Transcriber's Note:

Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note. A table of contents, though not present in the original publication, has been provided below:

INTRODUCTION. OF THE NATURE OF POETRY. RECIPES. HOW TO MAKE AN ORDINARY LOVE POEM. HOW TO MAKE A PATHETIC MARINE POEM. HOW TO WRITE AN EPIC POEM LIKE MR. TENNYSON. HOW TO WRITE A POEM LIKE MR. MATTHEW ARNOLD. HOW TO WRITE A POEM LIKE MR. BROWNING. HOW TO WRITE A MODERN PRE RAPHAELITE POEM. HOW TO WRITE A NARRATIVE POEM LIKE MR. MORRIS. HOW TO WRITE A SATANIC POEM LIKE THE LATE LORD BYRON. HOW TO WRITE A PATRIOTIC POEM LIKE MR. SWINBURNE. CONCLUSION.

INTRODUCTION.

To have attempted in former times a work of this description, would have seemed, we cannot deny, to savour either of presumption or of idiotcy, or more probably of both. And rightly. But we live in times of progress. The mystery of yesterday is the common place of to day; the Bible, which was Newton's oracle, is Professor Huxley's jest book; and students at the University now lose a class for not being familiar with opinions, which but twenty years ago they would have been expelled for dreaming of. Everything is moving onward swiftly and satisfactorily; and if, when we have made all faiths fail, we can only contrive to silence the British Association, and so make all knowledge vanish away, there will lack nothing but the presence of a perfect charity to turn the nineteenth century into a complete kingdom of heaven. Amongst changes, then, so great and so hopeful amongst the discoveries of the rights of women, the infallibility of the Pope, and the physical basis of life, it may well be doubted if the great fathers of ancient song would find, if they could come back to us, anything out of the way or ludicrous in a recipe book for concocting poetry.

Some, indeed, object that poetry is not progressive. But on what grounds this assertion is based, it is not possible to conjecture. Poetry is as much progressive as anything else in these days of progress. Free thought itself shews scarcely more strikingly those three great stages which mark advance and movement. For poetry, like Free thought, was first a work of inspiration, secondly of science, and lastly now of trick. At its first stage it was open to only here and there a genius; at its next to all intelligent men; and at its third to all the human race. Thus, just as there is no boy now, but can throw stones at the windows which Bishop Colenso has broken, so there is scarcely even a young lady but can raise flowers from the seed stolen out of Mr. Tennyson's garden.

And surely, whatever, in this its course of change, poetry may have lost in quality, is more than made up for by what it has gained in quantity. For in the first place it is far pleasanter to the tastes of a scientific generation, to understand how to make bad poetry than to wonder at good; and secondly, as the end of poetry is pleasure, that we should make it each for ourselves is the very utmost that we can desire, since it is a fact in which we all agree, that no man's verses please him so much as his own.

OF THE NATURE OF POETRY.

Poetry as practised by the latest masters, is the art of expressing what is too foolish, too profane, or too indecent to be expressed in any other way. And thus, just as a consummate cook will prepare a most delicate repast out of the most poor materials, so will the modern poet concoct us a most popular poem from the weakest emotions, and the most tiresome platitudes... Continue reading book >>




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