Saturday, July 07, 2007

Housman's Ideas about Poetic Inspiration in Later Writers (1)

Since Dennis has such a great interest in Housman, I usually try to make a mental note when I come across references to him in other writers. This is the first in a series of (at the moment) only two passages that I have come across lately in reference to the source of poetic inspiration. From Auden's Letter to Lord Byron (p. 82 in the Vintage edition of his Collected Poems, which does not include line numbers):

Professor Housman was I think the first
To say in print how very stimulating
The little ills by which mankind is cursed,
The colds, the aches, the pains are to creating;
Indeed one hardly goes too far in stating
That many a flawless lyric may be due
Not to a lover's broken heart, but 'flu.

How's that for the deromanticization of the Muse?

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