Poetry, Volume 17

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Modern Poetry Association, 1921 - American poetry
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Page 346 - Yet if the only form of tradition, of handing down, consisted in following the ways of the immediate generation before us in a blind or timid adherence to its successes, "tradition" should positively be discouraged. We have seen many such simple currents soon lost in the sand; and novelty is better than repetition. Tradition is a matter of much wider significance. It cannot be inherited, and if you want it you must obtain it by great labour.
Page 346 - ... the historical sense compels a man to write not merely with his own generation in his bones, but with a feeling that the whole of the literature of Europe from Homer and within it the whole of the literature of his own country has a simultaneous existence and composes a simultaneous order.
Page 346 - It involves, in the first place, the historical sense, which we may call nearly indispensable to anyone who would continue to be a poet beyond his twenty-fifth year; and the histori50 cal sense involves a perception, not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence; the historical sense compels a man to write not merely with his own generation in his bones, but with a feeling that the...
Page 44 - Your cornland nor your hill-land nor your valleys Ever again, nor share the battle yonder Where the young knight the broken squadron rallies; Only stay quiet, while my mind remembers The beauty of fire from the beauty of embers.
Page 211 - SPIRITS of old that bore me, And set me, meek of mind, Between great dreams before me, And deeds as great behind, Knowing humanity my star As first abroad I ride, Shall help me wear, with every scar, Honor at eventide.
Page 347 - The necessity that he shall conform, that he shall cohere, is not onesided; what happens when a new work of art is created is something that happens simultaneously to all the works of art which preceded it. The existing monuments form an ideal order among themselves, which is modified by the introduction of the new (the really new) work of art among them.
Page 156 - The fops of fancy in their poems leave Memorabilia of the mystic spouts, Spontaneously watering their gritty soils. I am a yeoman, as such fellows go. I know no magic trees, no balmy boughs, No silver-ruddy, gold-vermilion fruits. But, after all, I know a tree that bears A semblance to the thing I have in mind.
Page 44 - ON GROWING OLD Be with me Beauty for the fire is dying, My dog and I are old, too old for roving, Man, whose young passion sets the spindrift flying Is soon too lame to march, too cold for loving. I take the book and gather to the fire, Turning old yellow leaves; minute by minute, The clock ticks to my heart; a withered wire Moves a thin ghost of music in the spinet. I cannot sail your seas, I cannot wander, Your cornland, nor your hill-land nor your valleys, Ever again, nor share the battle...
Page 2 - ... Seeking to spread into shining loops over fields. Like an enormous serpent, dilating, uncoiling, Displaying a broad scaly back of earth-smeared gold; Swaying out sinuously between the dull motionless forests. As molten metal might glide down the lip of a vase of dark bronze; It goes, while the steamboat drifting out upon it, Seems now to be floating not only outwards but upwards; In the flight of a petal detached and gradually moving skyward Above the pink explosion of the calyx of the dawn.
Page 347 - The existing monuments form an ideal order among themselves, which is modified by the introduction of the new (the really new) work of art among them. The existing order is complete before the new work arrives; for order to persist after the supervention of novelty, the whole existing order must be, if ever so slightly, altered; and so the relations, proportions, values of each work of art toward the whole are readjusted; and this is conformity between the old and the new.

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