Four poems in the Quarterly review
I admit the idea of being published by the review which trashed Keats was attractive.
I can hear Coker's shade stuttering out of his grave to grab a quill and scratch his indignation. Poems? He rustles, with dusty vehemence, they call these poems!!!!!
Working himself up to a fine frenzy the Ghost scribbles furiously on a scrap of winding sheet:
I find not one one heroic couplet in the lot. Not one finite, well-expressed thought encapsulated in rhyme. Is the rest supposed to be blank verse? Can't this Guilar fellow count? The lines don't scan. Well, the first one does, perhaps. If one were being generous.
If the cockney school was bad enough, now god help me we've got transplanted West Midlands Migrant. Comprehensive school education. No Oxbridge man this. No wonder he ran away to the colonies. Do they even speak English there yet?
The first effusion has some nameless speaker contemplating the present with a cynical discussion of cynicism, the second is a rant about being English, the third an attempt to imagine what Robert Dudley might have thought of Elizabeth the First....ok, so it evokes Kenilworth Castle, give him that. As for the last piece, as far as I can tell there's a game called trivial pursuits, and the questions are about armed conflicts after the Falklands...there's the answers to the questions, a conversation between the players and the thoughts of one of the players.
Where's the uplift? Where's the beauty?
No no no this will not do, Back to the colonies with you, Master Liam. Better to be a well paid teacher than a poor attempt at a poet.
Compared to this, Endymion was a masterpiece...
Coker pauses, realising what he's just said.
The shade of John Keats, enjoying a bunch of grapes and a bottle of Claret, looks up at the mention of his poem, sees it's Coker who is speaking, and throws the bottle at him.