Concerning matters of taste

Here is a fun piece via the Laudator:

R.S. Thomas, Taste:

I had preferred Chaucer
but for the slop in his saucer:

or grave Edmund Spenser
moving formally as a dancer.

But Shakespeare’s cut and thrust,
I allow you, was a must

on my bookshelves; and after,
Donne’s thin, cerebral laughter.

Dryden I could not abide,
nor the mincing fratricide

of Pope. Jonathan Swift,
though courageous, had no uplift.

But Wordsworth, looking in the lake
of his mind, him I could take;

and Percy Shelley at times;
Byron, too, but only for his rhymes.

Tennyson? Browning? If I mention
them, it is but from convention,

despite the vowel technique
of the one, the other’s moral cheek.

Then Hardy, for many a major
poet, is for me just an old-stager,

shuffling about a bogus heath
cobwebbed with his Victorian breath.

And coming to my own century
with its critics’ compulsive hurry

to place a poet, I must smile
at the congestion at the turnstile

of fame, the faceless, formless amoeba
with the secretion of its vers libre.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Lighter fare. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. shadowlands says:

    I bet it didn’t take much time
    for R.S. to make all these famous
    poets rhyme.
    He also appears to be so witty
    In his arranging of
    this charming ditty.
    Looking deeper though
    It seems to me,
    His taste’s are anything but
    Each name he pulls and pokes about
    as if he’d like, at them to shout.

    No, I don’t find him fun at all.
    I sense a much more sombre call
    emitting from each line he writes
    I reckon he gets into lots of fights!

    (sorry, it got a bit basic and slang(ish) at the end).

  2. Rachel says:

    Good, shadowlands! :)

  3. shadowlands says:

    Thank you Rachel. :)

Comments are closed.