Poets' Corner to Poisoners

Poets' Corner (The). In Westminster Abbey. The popular name given to the south corner, because some sort of recognition is made of several British poets of very varied merits. As a national Valhalla, it is a national disgrace. It is but scant honour to be ranked with Davenant, Mason, and Shadwell. Some recognition is taken of five of our first-class poets- viz. Chaucer, Dryden, Milton, Shakespeare, and Spenser. Wordsworth and Tennyson are recognised, but not Byron, Pope, Scott, and Southey. Gray is very properly acknowledged, but not Cowper. Room is found for Longfellow, an American, but none for Burns and Hogg, both Scotchmen.

Poets Laureate appointed by letters patent.

BEN JONSON1615-6Westminster Abbey.
SIR WM. DAVENANT (!)1638Westminster Abbey.
JOHN DRYDEN1670Westminster Abbey.
NAHUM TATE (!)1692
NICHOLAS ROWE*1715Westminster Abbey.
ALFRED TENNYSON (Lord)1850Westminster Abbey.

   The following are sometimes included, though not appointed by letters patent: - Chaucer, Gower, John Key, Bernard, Skelton, Rob. Whittington, Richard Edwards, Spenser, and Sam. Daniel.
   (!) Five of the fourteen known only by their names. *Three others quite third-rate poets. The remaining five were distinguished men.
    A poet laureate is one who has received a laurel crown. There were at one time “doctors laureate,” “bachelors laureate,” etc.

Poetaster A very inferior poet. The suffix -aster is depreciative (compare “disaster”). At one time we had also “grammatic-aster,” “politic-aster,” “critic-aster,” and some others. (Italian, poetastro, a paltry poet.)

Poetical (See Aonian. )

Poetical Justice That ideal justice which poets exercise in making the good happy, and the bad unsuccessful in their evil schemes.

Poetry on the Greek Model (See Chiabreresco. )
   Father of English poetry. Geoffrey Chaucer (1328- 1400); so called by Dryden. Spenser calls him “the pure well of English undefiled.” He was not the first English poet, but was so superior to his predecessors that he laid the foundation of a new era. He is sometimes termed “the day-starre,” and Spenser the “sun-rise” of English poetry.

Pogram A “creak-shoes,” a Puritanical starch mawworm.

Poille An Apulian horse. The horses of Apulia were very greatly valued at one time. Richard, Archbishop of Armagh in the fourteenth century, says of St. Thomas, “Neither the mule of Spain, the courser of Apulia, the repedo of Ethiopia, the elephant of Asia, the camel of Syria, nor the English ass, is bolder or more combative than he.”

“Therto so horsly, and so quyk of ye,
As if a gentil Poille hys courser were;
For certes, fro his tayl unto his cere
Nature ne art ne couthe him nought amend.”
Chaucer: Canterbury Tales, line 10,536.
Poins One of the companions of Sir John Falstaff. (Shakespeare: 1 and 2 Henry IV.)

Point Defined by Euclid as “that which hath no parts.” Playfair defines it as “that which has position but not magnitude,” and Legendre says it “is a limit terminating a line;” but none of these definitions can be called either philosophical or exact. A point is not necessarily a “limit terminating a line,” for if so a point could not exist, even in imagination, without a line. Besides, Legendre's definition presupposes that we know what a line is; but assuredly a “point” precedes a “line,” as a line precedes a “superficies.” To arrive at Legendre's idea we must begin with a solid, and say a superficies is the “limit terminating each face of a solid,” lines are the “limits terminating a superficies,” and points are the “limits terminating a line.” In regard to Euclid's definition, we say: Ex nihilo nihil fit.
   In good point (French, embonpoint, plump.) (See Stretch a point.)
   To carry one's point. To gain the object sought for. The allusion is to

  By PanEris using Melati.

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