Wednesday, 9 September 2009


“The first study for the man who wants to be a poet is knowledge of himself, complete: he searches for his soul, he inspects it, he puts it to the test, he learns it. As soon as he has learned it, he must cultivate it! I say that one must be a seer, make oneself a seer. The poet becomes a seer through a long, immense, and reasoned derangement of all the senses. All shapes of love suffering, madness. He searches himself, he exhausts all poisons in himself, to keep only the quintessences. Ineffable torture where he needs all his faith, all his superhuman strength, where he becomes among all men the great patient, the great criminal, the great accursed one--and the supreme Scholar! For he reaches the unknown! ...So the poet is actually a thief of Fire!” - Arthur Rimbaud

A poem for a thief of words – a poem that will not easily be “borrowed”. I thought that what was freely given could hardly be stolen, except by one whose joy derives from the act of kleptomania…


Hail, all-bright Lady Mediocrity!
You shine on radiantly, unashamedly
Although your light is but reflected.

You utter well-turned phrases
Your ears so used to accolades,
Even if the applause you hear is for mouthing stolen wit.

Magnanimously you bend low
Giving alms to the needy all around you,
But your munificence runs on borrowed funds.

Hail bright, if slightly tarnished star,
Lord help preserve us from your indiscretions,
There is so much of your second-hand originality around us.

Jacqui BB hosts Poetry Wednesday


  1. Was there a particular person or circumstance that inspired this striking and biting poem?

  2. Hi Meredith. A poem of mine was "borrowed" and passed off as someone else's. Can cheese off the best of us...

  3. how BLOODY cheeky!!!
    people say to take imitation as a form of flattery but i would be feeling really cranky about that.

  4. That's terrible Nic. Was it here on Blogger or somewhere else?

  5. I remember when this happened to you, more than once, on old 360 - sorry to hear this is still happening to you, Nick. But, yes, how could anyone be pleased with applause when they're plagiarists!