Monday, 5 August 2013

24 - Greene/Browning/Swift

Jonathan Swift. A Letter of Advice to a Young Poet. His advice is to read the scriptures, but not believe them necessarily, to read the classics and not the modern writings (that sounds familiar!). (Other) 'authors are to be used like lobsters, you must look for the best meat in the tails, and lay the bodies back again in the dish.' He also recommends reading new plays, especially Irish ones (Swift was living in Dublin), and to keep a journal of your thoughts and the thoughts of authors you are reading. Wear rags when writing poetry, and clothe your muse with a forehead of Latin and Greek.

I found his use of the word 'bumfodder' curious. What on earth does it mean?

Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Sonnets from the Portuguese No. 16. 'If thou must love me, let it be for naught / Except for love's sake only...' etc. Another beautiful love poem.

Short Story
Graham Greene. Men at Work (1940). A wartime story about the realities of war for a public servant in London.

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