Tag Archives: Matthew Arnold

“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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“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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“It is a pity that the poet should be compelled to impart interest and force to his subject, instead of receiving them from it.” — poet and critic Matthew Arnold

“My poems represent, on the whole, the main movement of mind of the last quarter of a century, and thus they will probably have their day as people become conscious to themselves of what that movement of mind is, and … 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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“Sunlight on a broken column.” It’s T.S. Eliot’s birthday.

Poets like William Carlos Williams and Hart Crane both said that they needed to forcibly divorce themselves from Eliot’s influence in order to be able to write. His language and influence had that strong a pull. Too much pull. 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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“Poets, the best of them, are a very chameleonic race.” — Percy Bysshe Shelley

Drive my dead thoughts over the universe Like wither’d leaves to quicken a new birth! And, by the incantation of this verse, Scatter, as from an unextinguish’d hearth Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind! Be through my lips to … Continue reading

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“Best be yourself, imperial, plain, and true.” – Robert Browning

“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?” — Robert Browning “Andrea del Sarto” It’s Robert Browning’s birthday today. “Imperial”. Spoken like a true Victorian. We had to read Robert Browning’s poem “Meeting at … Continue reading

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