Spasmodic

The man gazing at the stars is proverbially at the mercy of the puddles on the road.

The quote I oftentimes use was from Alexander Smith, a Scottish essayist and poet who lived from 1830 to 1867. I even wrote something posted in this blog which worked around that fine quote. Also last year a person, (I think it was Coreen,) actually bothered to ask who the hell that guy was. All I knew then was that he was a poet.

A peek at wikipedia revealed nothing much interesting: he was the son of a lace-designer, and born at Kilmarnock. Being too poor to send him to college, his parents placed him in a linen factory to follow his father’s trade of a pattern designer.

The only thing noteworthy about the guy apart from his work, (at least for me that is,) was him being associated with the Spasmodic School. From the same reference (wikipedia) Spasmodic is a term applied by William Edmonstoune Aytoun to a group of British poets of the Victorian era, certainly with some derogatory as well as humorous intention and was also applied by contemporary reviewers to Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Aurora Leigh, Tennyson’s Maud, and the poetry of Arthur Hugh Clough although these poets are not generally included in the Spasmodic school by modern literary critics.

Hmmm… derogatory and humorous… definitely my cup of tea. No wonder I found the quote appealing!

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