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Frederick York Powell

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Poor playthings of the man that's gone,
Surely we would not have them thrown,
Like wreckage on a barren strand,
The prey of every greedy hand.
"On a Certain Auction in 1897"
(Actually 1898, of the personal effects of Lewis Carroll)
Frederick York Powell, a life and a selection from his letters and occasional writings

Frederick York Powell

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The new thing, a great banality in white, off-white and poor-white, leaned up against the wall. “Interesting,” we said. “It’s poor,” Snow White said. “Poor, poor.” “Yes,” Paul said,” one of my poorer things I think.” “Not so poor of course as yesterday’s, poorer on the other hand than some,” she said. “Yes,” Paul said, “it has some of the qualities of poorness.” “Especially poor in the lower left-hand corner,” she said. “Yes,” Paul said, “I would go so far as to hurl it into the marketplace.” “They’re getting poorer,” she said. “Poorer and poorer,” Paul said with satisfaction, “descending to unexplored depths of poorness where no human intelligence has ever been.” ... “Sublimely poor,” she murmured. “Wallpaper,” he said.

Donald Barthelme

It seemed to me that I now saw the Star Maker in two aspects: as the spirit's particular creative mood that had given rise to me, the cosmos; and also, most dreadfully, as something incomparably greater than creativity, namely as the eternally achieved perfection of the absolute spirit. Barren, barren and trivial are these words. But not barren the experience.

Olaf Stapledon

What's not devoured by Time’s devouring hand?
Where's Troy, and where's the Maypole in the Strand?

James Bramston

Soon there will be nothing left except the lying dreams of history, the miserable wreckage of our museums and picture-galleries, and the carefully guarded interiors of our aesthetic drawing-rooms, unreal and foolish, fitting witnesses of the life of corruption that goes on there, so pinched and meagre and cowardly, with its concealment and ignoring, rather than restraint of, natural longings; which does not forbid the greedy indulgence in them if it can but be decently hidden.

William Morris

My bark is wafted to the strand
By breath Divine;
And on the helm there rests a hand
Other than mine.

Henry Alford
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