Friday, April 1, 2022

Apr. 1: John Wilmot, English poet and courtier


John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester (1647-1680) was an English poet and courtier. Reacting against the "spiritual authoritarianism" of the Puritan era, he became known for his rakish lifestyle and poetry. Unsurprisingly he died as a result of venereal disease at the age of 33. He was described as a satirist and was considered to be a great poet and a considerable wit. The Victorians censored his poetry (not without cause) but was reappraised in the 1920s. Perhaps his best-known work today is the 170 or so lines of "A Satyr [Satire] Against Reason and Mankind," which subordinates reason to sense, which begins with him choosing rather to be a Dog, a Monkey, or a Bear" than to be "that vain Animal, Who is so proud of being Rational."


Please leave a comment - I can't WAIT to hear from you!