— Wyndham Lewis writer and painter 1882 - 1957
Context: Certainly Mr Eliot in the twenties was responsible for a great vogue for verse-satire. An ideal formula of ironic, gently "satiric", self-expression was provided by that master for the undergraduate underworld, tired and thirsty for poetic fame in a small way. The results of Mr Eliot are not Mr Eliot himself: but satire with him has been the painted smile of the clown. Habits of expression ensuing from mannerism are, as a fact, remote from the central function of satire. In its essence the purpose of satire — whether verse or prose — is aggression. (When whimsical, sentimental, or "poetic" it is a sort of bastard humour.) Satire has a great big glaring target. If successful, it blasts a great big hole in the center. Directness there must be and singleness of aim: it is all aim, all trajectory.
Notes to Kenneth Allott, as quoted in Contemporary Verse (1948) edited by Kenneth Allott<!-- Penguin, London -->