"Brahms endlessly revised compositions and sent them to friends for advice and criticism. He sent some songs to Clara Schumann with the request, "Write me if possible one short word about each,... such as: No.5, Bad; No.6, shameful; No.7, ridiculous."
In 1879, an honorary doctoral degree from Breslau University calling Brahms "the first among today's masters" provoked a venomous attack from Richard Wagner, who sneered, 'Compose, compose, even if you don't have the slightest of ideas.'"
-Excerpt from An Appreciation Of Music, 7th Edition
Ever since our pathways crossed,
I’m like a kid each time I see you
and I compose, compose, compose,
without the slightest of ideas!
I hush my love for now, but once,
I can no longer hide this ardor,
I’ll send you poems just as Brahms
Sent “shameful” symphonies to Clara...