1) Long lists of proper names such as Old Testament genealogies or the catalogue of ships in the Iliad?
2) Riddles and all other ways of not calling a spade a spade?
3) Complicated verse forms of great technical difficulty, such as Englyns, Drott-Kvaetts, Sestinas, even if their content is trivial?
4) Conscious theatrical exaggeration, pieces of baroque flattery like Dryden’s welcome to the Duchess of Ormond?
If a critic could truthfully answer “yes” to all four, then I should trust his judgment implicitly on all literary matters.
Auden (in his inaugural lecture as Professor of Poetry at Oxford)