Life and Letters of Robert Browning, Volume 1

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Greenwood Press, 1891 - Poets, English - 431 pages
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Page 281 - He, gifted like the objective poet with the fuller perception of nature and man, is impelled to embody the thing he perceives, not so much with reference to the many below as to the one above him, the supreme Intelligence which apprehends all things in their absolute truth, — an ultimate view ever aspired to, if but partially attained, by the poet's own soul.
Page 282 - That effluence cannot be easily considered in abstraction from his personality, — being indeed the very radiance and aroma of his personality, projected from it but not separated. Therefore, in our approach to the poetry, we necessarily approach the personality of the poet ; in apprehending it we apprehend him, and certainly we cannot love it without loving him. Both for love's and for understanding's sake we desire to know him, and as readers of his poetry must be readers of his biography also.
Page 283 - Nor is there any reason why these two modes of poetic faculty may not issue hereafter from the same poet in successive perfect works, examples of which, according to what are now considered the exigences of art, we have hitherto possessed in distinct individuals only.
Page 281 - Doubtless we accept gladly the biography of an objective poet, as the phrase now goes ; one whose endeavour has been to reproduce things external (whether the phenomena of the scenic universe, or the manifested action of the human heart and brain), with an immediate reference, in every case, to the common eye and apprehension of his fellow-men, assumed capable of receiving and profiting by this reproduction.
Page 309 - scape the rod ? " Rabbi Ben Karshook saith, " See that he turn to God The day before his death." " Ay, could a man inquire When it shall come !" I say. The Rabbi's eye shoots fire —
Page 159 - Bells and Pomegranates,' and I take the opportunity of explaining, in reply to inquiries, that I only meant by that title to indicate an endeavour towards something like an alternation or mixture of music with discoursing, sound with sense, poetry with thought ; which looks too ambitious, thus expressed, so the symbol was preferred.
Page 106 - I am anxious that the reader should not, at the very outset, — mistaking my performance for one of a class with which it has nothing in common, — judge it by principles on which it was never moulded, and subject it to a standard to which it was never meant to conform.
Page 122 - Othello, and I told him I hoped I should make the blood come. It would indeed be some recompense for the miseries, the humiliations, the heart-sickening disgusts which I have endured in my profession if, by its exercise, I had awakened a spirit of poetry whose influence would elevate, ennoble, and adorn our degraded drama. May it be ! Acted Bertulphe better than the two preceding nights.
Page 284 - I call his simultaneous perception of Power and Love in the absolute, and of Beauty and Good in the concrete, while he throws, from his poet's station between both, swifter, subtler, and more numerous films for the connexion of each with each, than have been thrown by any modern artificer of whom I have knowledge ; proving how, as he says, " The spirit of the worm within the sod, In love and worship blends itself with God.
Page 54 - Mrs. Browning went to Messrs. Ollier, and brought back " most of Shelley's writings, all in their first edition, with the exception of ' The Cenci.' " She brought also three volumes of the still less known John Keats, on being assured that one who liked Shelley's works would like these also.

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