Now that David Hurwitz has blown the lid off classical music, I feel impelled to do my part.
1. Everything you liked in high school is bad. Everything your English teacher told you to like is also bad, but for different reasons. If you liked what your English teacher told you to like, you are now teaching English.
2. Donne should be hanged for his placing of the accents.
3. Blake was stone loony.
4. Reputation bloat is directly proportional to the fodder the poet supplies for doctoral theses. “Philosophical” poets are especially prized. Wordsworth leads the league in this department.
5. When browsing an anthology, skip any poet you have heard of. Only the one-offs will be any good. In fact someone ought to get around to making an anthology strictly of one-offs, like those Nuggets collections Rhino Records puts out.
6. Eliot’s scholarship is a complete fraud.
7. Pound was actually a nice guy. A traitor, but a nice guy.
8. Only about a dozen poems in English longer than 100 lines are worth reading. One of them, unfortunately, is Paradise Lost.
9. Shakespeare’s sonnets aren’t very good. The plays are pretty good, however.
10. The middle section of Leaves of Grass consists of the sentence “All work and no play makes Walt a dull boy,” repeated 3,482 times.