John Wain

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It's discouraging to make a mistake, but it's humiliating when you find out you're so unimportant that nobody noticed it.
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John Barrington Wain (14 March, 192524 May, 1994) was a British poet, anthologist and journalist.


  • The lesson is that dying men must groan;
    And poets groan in rhymes that please the ear.
    • Poem Don't let's spoil it all, I thought that we were going to be such good friends.
  • Poetry is to prose as dancing is to walking.
    • Talk on BBC Radio, 13 January 1976
    • Quoted in "The Penguin Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Quotations", J M & M J Cohen (1996) p. 389 ISBN 0-14-051165-2


  • This book — amber-clear, cool and with a good head — deserves a thoughtful swig even from people who never drink.
  • How much of our literature, our political life, our friendships and love affairs, depend on being able to talk peacefully in a bar!

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