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william plomer Quotes

William Plomer Quotes



    • The commonplace needs no defence, Dullness is in the critic's eyes, Without a licence life evolves From some dim phase its own surprise; Under these yellow-twinkling elms, Behind these hedges trimly shorn, As in a stable once, so here It may be born, it may be born.
    • A family portrait not too stale to record Of a pleasant old buffer, nephew to a lord, Who believed that the bank was mightier than the sword, And that an umbrella might pacify barbarians abroad: Just like an old liberal Between the wars.
    • Oh, the twenties and the thirties were not otherwise designed Than other times when blind men into ditches led the blind, When the rich mouse ate the cheese and the poor mouse got the rind, And man, the self-destroyer, was not lucid in his mind.
    • When her guests were awash with champagne and with gin She was recklessly sober, as sharp as a pin: An abstemious man would reel at her look As she rolled a bright eye and praised his last book.
    • Brzeska and Brooke were among those she knew And she lived long enough to meet Lawrences, too, D. H. and T. E. - she who'd known R. L. S., Talked to Hardy of Kim, and to Kipling of Tess!
    • His most celebrated poems are, of course, the historical-satirical ballads (A or even X certificate) in which a person or period is 'hit off', in the sense both of being preserved and hit for six.
    • His poetry may be divided into comic extravaganza on the one hand, and more personal work on the other. There is no one like him in the world in the former genre; as a 'light poet' he is preferable to John Betjeman - as fluent in traditional forms, his work is never vitiated by refuge in the poetical or high sentimental, and his choice of words is subtler, funnier and altogether sharper. In his other vein Plomer is fastidious, reticent, elegant and the author of some memorable and moving lines.
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