Poetry is at bottom a criticism of life.
Matthew Arnold (1822 - 1888)
Contributed by: Zaady
Genius is mainly an affair of energy, and poetry is mainly an affair of genius; therefore a nation whose spirit is characterized by energy may well be imminent in poetry - and we have Shakespeare.
And see all sights from pole to pole, And glance, and nod, and hustle by; And never once possess our soul Before we die.
Source: A Southern Night
Strew on her roses, roses, And never a spray of yew! In quiet she reposes; Ah, would that I did too!
There is no better motto which it [culture] can have than these words of Bishop Wilson, "To make reason and the will of God prevail."
Source: Culture and Anarchy. P. 8.
He spoke, and loos'd our heart in tears. He laid us as we lay at birth On the cool flowery lap of earth.
Source: Memorial Verses
Time may restore us in his course Goethe's sage mind and Byron's force: But where will Europe's latter hour Again find Wordsworth's healing power?
His expression may often be called bald . . . but it is bald as the bare mountain tops are bald, with a baldness full of grandeur.
Source: preface to Poems of Wordsworth
Nature herself seems, I say, to take the pen out of his hand, and to write for him with her own bare, sheer, penetrating power.
We cannot kindle when we will The fire which in the heart resides, The spirit bloweth and is still, In mystery our soul abides: But tasks in hours of insight will'd Can be through hours of gloom fulfill'd.
Source: Morality, st. 1
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