Advice to a critic

 

Advice to a critic

A critic should not be too hard on a hack,
But tolerant in his recensions,
And although the poetry something may lack,
Make note of the poet’s intentions.

It may be devoid of both reason and rhyme,
And not so much music as static.
But that only makes him a man of his time:
Ineptitude is democratic.

Forget about truth and forget about art,
As shameless to glory you raise him
– Such poets make even a critic look smart,
So what are you waiting for: Praise him!

But what if he fills you with envy and fear,
The writer of talent and knowledge,
Whose eloquence makes all his colleagues appear
As if they were just out of college?

Don’t tell him the things you hold sacred and true
– You know they would probably bore him.
Remember, the rest are as stupid as you.
It’s perfectly safe to ignore him!

ERWIN NEUTZSKY-WULFF