Dizzy Dilettante

VOLUME 98, MARCH 22, 1890


It’s curious, however, that although he—
aims at being considered a poet, an artist, 
a dramatist, and a musical composer…

The Dilettante gay moderné rather—

affects the society of those who are like him,
amateurs of imperfect development

Like those who’ve hardly attained fame—

by any professional effort, but may be seen 
occasionally at various stylish parties

Making one wonder how so strange—

a medley of second-rate incompetencies 
can gather together into one room

It is noticeable that the Dilettante—

loves the society of flitting queen bees, 
and isn’t adverse to mocking Domestica

He finds a sense of wit and satire—

in fancying that he’s somewhat remarkable, 
that his evil tongue wags sophisticated havoc 

No Dilettante can be considered genuine—

unless he expresses a pitying contempt for 
everything that he pretends to be

He gives a practical expression to his scorn—

by quavering in a queenly voice, the feeble 
chansonnettes of an inferior French composer

And by issuing a volume of poems in which—

the good taste of English Grammar is swished
under the rug, and replaced with depravity

In his lyrical effusions he lashes out at—

the cold and cruel heartlessness of the world 
with a snotty, snively, tres nasty noble scorn

He addresses his ennui rather cleverly—

blaming all the skeletons in his tacky closet
dishing those gaudy pleasures of Dorian Gray

Having read these efforts to an admiring circle—

he betakes himself with infinite zest discussing
aesthetic tittle-tattle over a cup of tea 

They will then take pleasure in persuading—

one another without any difficulty, that they 
are indeed the fine flower of elitist beings

The Dilettante, moreover, is a constant—

devotee at the first nights of certain theatres
and operas of high society gossip & elegance

There amongst inner circles of Dilettantia—

a jargon, both of voice and of gesture, passes as 
humoresque, but is quite unintelligible 

The butchy bourgeois outer world of tacky—

Philistines means nothing unless, of course,
some cute rough trade number is appealing 

Then the wrists dangle, the hands shake—

emphasizing those delicate finger-tips that
distinguish the plaintive cadence “oh, dear me”


The fashionable Dilettante usually smokes—

cigarettelets (a word coined to express their
petite size) but she never attempts cigars

Miss Dilettante affects a gait and manner—

of the most mincing delicacy, seeking to impress 
others with her sense of superior refinement

In later life, she’s apt to lose her hair—

disguising the ravages of time with rouge, 
toupee, wrinkle cream & cosmetic surgery

Yet she deceives nobody, getting buried—

in a wicker-work coffin covered with lilies while
her rival Dilettante friends simply yawn

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