Poetic Pissing Competition

We thought: we’re poor and don’t own anything,
But as we started to lose one thing after another,
So much that each day became
A commemorative day, –
We began to write songs
About God’s immense generosity
And the wealth we once had.

Anna Akhmatova, 1915
Rhys at A Piece of Monologue links to a review of a new Yeats book. He quotes, “William Butler Yeats has been called the twentieth century’s greatest poet.” Subjective, of course, but I could not vote for this laurel wreath to go to Yeats. There is of course genius there but also mawkishness and mysticism.
Eliot wears the crown if influence is decisive but a case could be made for Rilke or the Russians: for Akhmatova, Mandelstam or Tsvetaeva.

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