‘Anne ventured to hope he did not always read only poetry; and to say that she thought it was the misfortune of poetry to be seldom safely enjoyed by those who enjoyed it completely, and that the strong feelings which alone could estimate it truly were the very feelings which ought to taste it but sparingly.’

(Jane Austen, Persuasion, Chapter 11)

Oh, Anne, oh Jane, we have been warned; you find
That too much poetry can harm the soul,
That too much Keats and Byron burn a hole
Where once were sanity and peace of mind.

We've seen some newleaf victims on the ground,
Exposed to rhymes and rhythms for too long.
The upshot of it was — you must be strong —
In here, there's not one poem to be found.

But regulars of newleaf knew we'd show 'em
That "Naught-but-fiction" we could not allow;
newleaf is not newleaf without a poem.

And those who know us could depend upon it:
We'd sneak a lyric in somewhere - but how?
We've made the editorial a sonnet.

Simon Makhali and Ian Watson, June 1998