Tag Archives: Philip Larkin

“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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“I did not begin to write poetry in earnest until the really emotional part of my life was over.” — poet A.E. Housman

OUCH, A.E. OUCH. He was born in 1859 and he died in 1936. That generation saw so much change it boggles the mind, and I say that as a member of a generation which grew up sans internet – who … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Wystan Hugh Auden: “The enlightenment driven away / The habit-forming pain”

W.H. Auden was born on this day in York, England, 1907. I first encountered Auden in my “Humanities” class, senior year in high school. I got a lot out of that class, and I remember we analyzed Auden’s famous most-anthologized … Continue reading

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2023 Books Read

I think I might have read more books by non-American authors than American this year. Countries represented below: Austria, Hungary, Poland, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Croatia, Ireland, France, Russia, Colombia. I revisited some old favorites, which I will continue to do in … Continue reading

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“When the words do come, I pick them so thoroughly of their live associations that only the death in the word remains.” — poet Dylan Thomas

“[My] poems, with all their crudities, doubts and confusions, are written for the love of Man and in praise of God, and I’d be a damn fool if they weren’t.” – Dylan Thomas, 1952 Dylan Thomas was born on this … 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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“One day I hope I can write happier poems, but most of the things I think about aren’t very cheerful.” — poet Philip Larkin

“Oh, for Christ’s sake, one doesn’t STUDY poets! You READ them and think, That’s marvelous, how is it done, could I do it? and that’s how you learn. At the end of it you can’t say, That’s Yeats, that’s Auden, … 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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Commonplace Book: Pleasure

“[A critic] must hold on to the principle that the only reason for praising a work is that it pleases, and the way to develop his critical sense is to be more acutely aware of whether he is being pleased … Continue reading

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