Tag Archives: Gerard Manley Hopkins

“That is no country for old men.” — William Butler Yeats

“I thought we might bring the halves together if we had a national literature that made Ireland beautiful in the memory, and yet had been freed of provincialism by an exacting criticism, a European pose.” — W.B. Yeats William Butler … Continue reading

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“Literature is the written expression of revolt against expected things.” Happy Birthday to the least happy man ever, Thomas Hardy

“A certain provincialism of feeling is invaluable. It is the essence of individuality, and is largely made up of that crude enthusiasm without which no great thoughts are thought, no great deeds done.” — Thomas Hardy That quote above from … Continue reading

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“[My ambition is to] give something to our literature which will be our own.” — Walt Whitman

“I like to think that eventually he will shame us into becoming Americans again.” — Guy Davenport on Walt Whitman Whitman is the organizing principle behind my review of Martin Scorsese’s Rolling Thunder Revue. Bob Dylan quotes Whitman all the … Continue reading

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“For never has such soothing voice / Been to your shadowy world convey’d…” — Matthew Arnold on William Wordsworth

“I have said that poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings; it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity; the emotion is contemplated till by a species of reaction the tranquillity gradually disappears, and an emotion, kindred to … Continue reading

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“Since when was genius found respectable?” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

It’s her birthday today. I have a beautiful red-leather bound copy of The Complete Poetical Works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, bought at a second-hand store. The publication date is 1882, with a foreword by Mrs. Browning herself. She died in … Continue reading

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“These English songs gravel me to death. I have not the command of the language that I have of my native tongue. In fact, I think that my ideas are more barren in English than in Scotch.” — Robert Burns, “the Ploughman Poet” of Scotland

“For my own part I never had the least thought or inclination of turning poet till I got once heartily in Love, and then Rhyme and Song were, in a manner, the spontaneous language of my heart.” — Robert Burns … Continue reading

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“I doubt sometimes whether a quiet and unagitated life would have suited me–yet I sometimes long for it.” — Lord Byron

— And who is the best poet, Heron? asked Boland. — Lord Tennyson, of course, answered Heron. — O, yes, Lord Tennyson, said Nash. We have all his poetry at home in a book. At this Stephen forgot the silent … Continue reading

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“Thy soul was like a Star and dwelt apart” — William Wordsworth on John Milton

Milton was born on this day in 1608. Although he left Oxford without completing his degree, he remained a thinker, a propagandist/pamphleteer, a scholar till the end of his days. The isolated poet, focused on self and personal emotion, would … Continue reading

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“I find that I cannot exist without poetry—without eternal poetry—” –John Keats

I was just beautifying him, don’t you know. A thing of beauty, don’t you know. Yeats says, or I mean, Keats says. – James Joyce, Ulysses Born in 1795 on this day, John Keats was orphaned at fifteen. Because his … Continue reading

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“Tennyson’s rank is too well fixed and we love him too much.” — Oscar Wilde

“He was not only a minor Virgil, he is also with Virgil as Dante saw him, a Virgil among the Shades, the saddest of all English poets.” – T.S. Eliot It’s Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s birthday, born on August 6, 1809. … Continue reading

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