“‘ARE YOU SURE?" ASKED PIGLET ANXIOUSLY. “ ‘Well, you’ll see, Piglet, when you listen. Because this is how it begins. The more it snows, tiddely-pom—’ “‘Tiddely what?’ said Piglet.” (He took, as you might say, the very words out of your correspondent’s mouth.) “‘Pom,’ said Pooh. ‘I put that in to make it more hummy.’” And it is that word “hummy,” my darlings, that marks the first place in “The House at Pooh Corner” at which Tonstant Weader Fwowed up. —Dorothy Parker, review of AA Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner in the New Yorker, 1928. GIVEN HOW CRITICAL POETS ARE, WHY DON’T they write more criticism? Even if you make the usual arguments— that criticism is woefully ill paid; that criticism interferes with those narrow shop-hours the poet is open for business (the poet might as well padlock the door, those days he’s scribbling reviews); that, since criticism is so rarely like lust, few poets can muster the desire to write about poetry—even if you rally the old apologies, you haven’t mentioned the one poets rarely speak of, that writing criticism is a mug’s game. If you write a bad review of X—indeed, if you write a good review of X that isn’t quite as good as X deserves —why, X will be delighted to be your enemy forever. You also incur the lifelong hatred of X’s bosom friends, and his beloved mother, and his distant cousins, and his dog. —William Logan, “The State of Criticism,” the Battersea Review. Page 20 - Nine Mile Magazine

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