Essays in Criticism


I like this more than that.
This is better than this.
This means this and that.
This is what this one wrote.
This is not that at all.
This is not good at all.
Some prefer this to that
But frankly this is old hat.
This is what Thissites call
Inferior this, and yet,
I hope I have shown you all
That that way lies a brick wall
Where even to say "Yes, but..."
Comfuses the this with the that.


Instead we must ask "What is this?"
Then, "Is that that sort of this,
Or a modified this, or a miss
As good as a mile, or a style
Adopted by that for this
To demonstrate thisness to those
Who expect a that-inclined prose
Always from this one -- a stock
Response from readers like these."
But of course the whole thing's a trick
To make you place them among those
Who only follow their nose,
Who are caught on the this/that spike
But who think they know what they like.


Anthony Thwaite


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