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10 lines of poetry most quoted online?


A very surprising list compiled by the Inky Fool. He analysed the Google Search result data and came up with the following:
10Tis better to have loved and lost/Than never to have loved at all 2,400,000 Tennyson
9Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair 3,080,000 Shelley
8To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield 3,140,000 Tennyson
7Tread softly because you tread on my dreams 4,860,000 W.B. Yeats 
6Not with a bang but a whimper 5,280,000 T.S. Eliot
5And miles to go before I sleep 5,350,000 Robert Frost
4I wandered lonely as a cloud 8,000,000 Wordsworth
3The child is father of the man 9,420,000 Wordsworth
2I am the master of my fate 14,700,000 William Ernest Henley
1To err is human; to forgive, divine 14,800,000 Alexander Pope

Some initial thoughts:
  1. What happened to the big guy? Shakespeare's highest entry is a miserable 13 with My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun. To be or not to be barely makes the Top 20. 
  2. Equally mysterious that Kipling's If you can keep your head what all about you limps in at 48. Perhaps Google searchers, like P.G Wodehouse's Lord Emsworth, fail to remember the precise wording of the endlessly quoted verse: Something about if you can something something and never something something, you'll be a man my son, or words to that effect.
  3. The Romantics remain crowd pleasers - Wordsworth & Shelley take three of the top ten slots, though perhaps surprisingly Keats misses out. 
  4. Pompous Christmas Cracker philosophising also good box-office (step forward Mr Tennyson). 
  5. Surprised by Henley coming in a close second. Perhaps he appeals to the modern inclination to personalize ('I am the master of my fate')
  6. Over-familiarity produces a certain weariness when it comes to the Pope's victory. A staple of online sermons, religious and secular. 

Comments

  1. Amazing lines from amazing poets!! No wonder they top the list

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