Poetry Quotes: Witty & Mocking

The only problem
with Haiku is that you just
get started and then
~Roger McGough

I had rather be a kitten and cry mew
Than one of these same metre ballad-mongers;
I had rather hear a brazen canstick turn’d,
Or a dry wheel grate on the axle-tree;
And that would set my teeth nothing on edge,
Nothing so much as mincing poetry…
~William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I [III, 1, Hotspur of the North]

I hate French poetry. What measured glitter! ~Israel Zangwill, Dreamers of the Ghetto, “From a Mattress Grave,” 1897, spoken by the character Heinrich Heine

      ‘There is correct English: that is not slang.’
      ‘I beg your pardon: correct English is the slang of prigs who write history and essays. And the strongest slang of all is the slang of poets.’
      …’Aha, Miss Rosy, you don’t know Homer from slang. I shall invent a new game; I shall write bits of slang and poetry on slips, and give them to you to separate.’
      ‘Dear me, how amusing it is to hear young people talk!’ said Mrs Vincy, with cheerful admiration. ~George Eliot, Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life, Volume I, Book I—Miss Brooke, 1871

Then a health to the poets I’ll toss,
To Byron and Shelley and Keats,
To Dobson the blithe and Swinburne the lithe,
And the Irish phenomenon Yeats.
~Your Health!, compiled by Idelle Phelps, 1906

Poets aren’t very useful
Because they aren’t consumeful or very produceful.
~Ogden Nash

And let me be rather but honest with no-wit,
Than a noisy nonsensical half-witted poet.
~”The Poet’s Prayer,” c.1734

Salts of lemon never fails to remove ink spots. A great many would-be poets should buy the salts by the barrel and pickle their effusions in it. ~Mary Wilson Little, Reveries of a Paragrapher, 1897