One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A person who writes inferior poetry.
- ‘Of course, ‘poetic’ is what poets professed to be avoiding in those days and, indeed, throughout history, ‘poetic’ being a form of falsity and artifice peculiar to all preceding generations of poetasters.’
- ‘The prime poetaster likes stringing words together’
- ‘For once, readers will see how delightful great poets are, and how nauseating are poetasters.’
- ‘I have worked terribly hard, and done good, permanent work - and I have passed the turn of my life and I am a beggar with no more recognition than the slightest poetaster.’
- ‘One dishonest plumber does more harm than a hundred poetasters.’
- ‘To the Edinburgh literati who took him up after the success of his Kilmarnock edition of 1786 he played up to the image of the ‘heaven-taught ploughman’ as created by that second-rate poetaster Henry Mackenzie.’
- ‘There have been poetasters and quack-theorists from the moment imagination emerged in human consciousness.’
- ‘I offer my apologies: you're still a rotten poetaster, but I can't complain about your spelling.’
- ‘A poetaster's aesthetic feathers had been ruffled, but his humanity, anemic and amoral, had remained unstirred, somnolent, and moribund.’
- ‘Or is he a poetaster whose taste is overridden by the dream of a talent he has never possessed?’
- ‘Many scientific teachers of literature never find this out; the poetaster discovers it because he has been trying to make poetry, though he has hard luck.’
Late 16th century: modern Latin, from Latin poeta ‘poet’ + -aster.
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