S6E4: “To a Poet, Who Would Have Me Praise Certain Bad Poets, Imitator of His and Mine” by William Butler Yeats

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In this sixth season of The Well Read Poem, we will read a number of examples of classic satire in verse. English poetry is particularly rich in satire, and we will take a close look at some of the best instances of literary mockery that the past several centuries have bequeathed to us. Some of these are playfully teasing, while others are deliberately savage. All of them taken together, I trust, will provide a happy introduction to the fine art of verbal annihilation. Today’s poem is “To a Poet, Who Would Have Me Praise Certain Bad Poets, Imitator of His and Mine” by William Butler Yeats. Poem begins at timestamp 7:01.

To a Poet, Who Would Have Me Praise Certain Bad Poets, Imitator of His and Mine

by William Butler Yeats

YOU say, as I have often given tongue In praise of what another's said or sung, 'Twere politic to do the like by these; But was there ever dog that praised his fleas?

39 episodes