An allergy to poetry

“We have developed an allergy to poetry; like the allergy to peanuts, but often worse. Take allegory, for instance. In the modern mind, it can induce a stroke. Most of the Bible, to say nothing of other significant literary works, has become unreadable or incomprehensible to us, because we cannot take ‘play’ seriously.”

— David Warren


A few searches for Vernon Lee seem to have landed on this blog. I featured Ms Lee as a link to JSTOR article some months before. Interest sufficiently piqued, I decided to look up her work and found the text of her book Hauntings.

The opening line is fantastic as it sets the mood and draws you in with the promise of mystery.

We were talking last evening—as the blue moon-mist poured in through the old-fashioned grated window, and mingled with our yellow lamplight at table—we were talking of a certain castle whose heir is initiated (as folk tell) on his twenty-first birthday to the knowledge of a secret so terrible as to overshadow his subsequent life.