01 February 2010

Poets ranked by beard weight

Apparently there is a strong correlation between the beard weight and poetry weight, making Whitman the lightest poet and Morse is the heaviest - makes sense as he was the first code poet.

This is how they stacked up with beard gravity increasing as we move from left to right and top to bottom:

{ Walt Whitman, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Sir Walter Raleigh, Henry David Thoreau, Lord Tennyson, James Russell Lowell, John Greenleaf Whittier, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edwin Markham, Sidney Lanier, William Cullen Bryant, John Burroughs, William Ernest Henley, Joaquin Miller, Samuel Morse }

In 1913 Upton Uxbridge Underwood (1881–1937) published a book entitled Poets Ranked by Beard Weight, which ranked poets according to the gravity of their beards, assigning each one a “pogonometric index” score ... A score of 10, for example, was “very very weak,” whereas a score of 58 was “very very heavy.”  I discovered the above image on Right Reading, via A Journey Around My Skull who uncovered Upton Uxbridge Underwood's brilliant book.  He stated that in the book:

“Poets Ranked by Beard Weight is the centerpiece of Underwood’s estimable, if fetish-fueled treatise on pogonology, or the study of whiskers and associated lore…. This quaint publication takes the reader on a fascinating excursion through such topics as False Beards, Merkins, and Capillamenta (chin wigs); Effusions of the Scalp and Face; Celebrated Chaetognaths (chaetognathous = hairy-jawed); and even includes an affectionate mini-essay about the wooly mammoth!”