Enduring vs Enjoying

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Fri Jan 21 08:06:40 EST 2005

Kyra mentioned:

>... some reasonably funny Swift poems (Swift
>would be an exception to my general distaste for that horrible eighteenth

I went to the Oxford Book of Eighteenth Century Verse when I read that, to
see whether there was anything in it that made me want to say "oh oh oh but
how can you not like X?" and had a look, and I hadn't realised before but
you're right!

I come up with Christopher Smart's Cat Jeoffrey (which isn't in that book,
they only include "A Song to David", eek wibble) and Samuel Taylor
Coleridge was just getting started but hadn't apparently done anything much
good before 1800.  There are people who would suggest that Burns ain't all
bad...  And I have a sneaking fondness for William Cowper, for one or two
lines and for John Gilpin.

They don't include any Blake!  Gibber!  Surely some at least of his stuff
was written in the C18.  *Songs of Innocence* at least *must* have been!

My problem with Swift is that he's good but he's nasty, a lot of the time.


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