Sunday, 20 February 2011

Fact-Checking Poetry

I never knew that the New Yorker magazine fact-checks the poetry it publishes. There's a lovely article about it here. This seems to me a splendid notion. Had Shakespeare been fact-checked, Prospero wouldn't have been smuggled, under cover of darkness, down to the docks in Milan; Perdita wouldn't have been abandoned on the coasts of land-locked Bohemia; and Cleopatra wouldn't have talked of being hanged from the pyramids.

Moreover, had a proper proof-reader been set the task of going over The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, the first line might have been the grammatically correct:

Let us go then, you and me,

Not strictly accurate

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