With Your Crown On: Auden’s Light Verse

My first name, Wystan,
Rhymes with Tristan,
But – O dear! – I do hope
I’m not quite such a dope.

W. H. Auden, Academic Graffiti
Illustration to Auden’s clerihew on himself in Academic Graffiti

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Lear, Smith and Feet-off-the-ground

But first, Reader, I will give you a word of warning.  This is a foot-off-the-ground novel that came by the left hand…. And if you are a foot-on-the-ground person, this book will be for you a desert of weariness and exasperation.  So put it down.  Leave it alone.  It was a mistake that you made to get this book.  You could not know. (Stevie Smith, Novel on Yellow Paper)

Today I’ve been thinking about feet in Edward Lear‘s illustrations.

Lear, Old Man of Whitehaven
Edward Lear, ‘There was an old man of Whitehaven/Who danced a quadrille with a raven…’

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