"When Auden saw proofs of one of his poems he found that the printer had saddled him with "and the ports have names for the sea" when what he had written was "and the poets have names for the sea." He decided to stick with the misprint..."
- Clive James
This little passage in this month's "Poetry" had me chuckling to myself. Some months ago an editor sent proofs of a poem of mine entitled "Upon Reaching the Cloistered Sage". The proofs contained the title: "Upon Reaching the Cloistered Stage." I paused a moment, then wrote the editor, saying: "The proofs look perfect, thanks."
More recently, proofs arrived of a poem entitled "To the Couple in the Garden". Strangely, the proofs read:" To the Couple in the Garden Spigot."
I believe it was Oscar Wilde who said, A poet can survive anything but a misprint.
Unless it's a good one.
The temple on the avenue
where brown stones and dust accrue
has been given to
the gardeners and their quiet rooms.