Having considered that matter in – of course – all its aspects, I have decided that there is no excuse for poetry. Poetry gives no adequate return in money, is expensive to print by reason of the waste of space occasioned by its form, and nearly always promulgates illusory concepts of life. But a better case for the banning of all poetry is the simple fact that most of it is bad. No one is going to manufacture a thousand tons of jam in the expectation that five tons may be eatable. Furthermore, poetry has the effect on the negligible handful of those who read it of stimulating them to write poetry themselves. One poem, if widely disseminated, will breed perhaps a thousand inferior copies. The same objection cannot be made in the case of painting or sculture, because these occupations afford employment for artisans who produce the materials. Moreover, poets are usually unpleasant people who are poor and insist forever on discussing that incredibly boring subject, ‘books’.
Myles na Gopaleen The Best of Myles (Picador 1975) p 239
Image: Karl Spitsweg Der Arme Poet (The Poor Poet)