Advice for poets



Jonathan Swift


The Muse invok’d, sit down to write,

Blot out, correct, insert, refine,

Enlarge, diminish, interline;

Be mindful, when Invention fails,

To scratch your Head, and bite your Nails


and advice on dealing with critics:


And if you find the general Vogue

Pronounces you a stupid Rogue;

Damns all your Thoughts as low and slight,

Sit still, and swallow down your Spittle.

Be silent as a Politician,

For talking may beget Suspicion….


Silent as a politician? How things have changed!

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