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To Have One’s (Pecking) Orders

This was amusing from W.H. Auden and Cecil Day Lewis described inThe Buried Day by C. Day Lewis (Chatto, 1960)

we had a complementary repsect for eachother: it was at Appletreewick, I think, that we wrote down the names of all the living English peots we could remember: we then sorted them out into three columns: in the left column we put those whom we already excelled, middle column those we would excel one day, and in the right hand column (an extremely short one) the poets whom we had little hope of ever equalling.

[via Nigel Beale]

I find this comic because it’s so human to evaluate and so futile and likely inaccurate and cheeky.

I find it comic because the one binary dynamic collides with my bobbing cultural relativism.

I find it funny because so many aesthetics are incomparable. They descend from different histories of world views and from different effects motivations. Each may reach outcomes that seem convergent evolution or be unrelated. Apples and fox fur and polypropylene.

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