Monday, September 17, 2007

Quotes: Plot. Poe. Poet. Poetry.

A collection of quotes on various topics. The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

Man leaves, hero defends girl in his absence, he returns, allows the hero to marry her and gets him to a cloister for a life of peace.
Plot 16 The deeds of Wilibert of Waverley in the Holy Land, his long absence and perilous adventures, his supposed death, and his return in the evening when the betrothed of his heart had wedded the hero who had protected her from insult and oppression during his absence; the generosity with which the Crusader relinquished his claims, and sought in a neighboring cloister that peace which passeth not away…. Sir Walter Scott, Waverley.

Origin of Pickwick: members of a shooting, fishing club get themselves into difficulties.
Plot xi Origin of the Pickwick Papers: …a notion…that a “Nimrod Club,” the members of which were to go out shooting, fishing, and so forth, and getting themselves into difficulties through their want of dexterity. Preface. Dickens, Pickwick.

Poe made real enemies out of people he had only imagined as enemies.
Poe 280 Poe: …a paranoid talent for creating real enemies out of previously imagined ones. Mellow, Hawthorne in His Times.

The poet consists of fog, mist, cloud, and moonshine.
Poet 437 …appeared to be a poet…his ordinary diet was fog, morning mist, and a slice of the densest cloud within his reach, sauced with moonshine, whenever he could get it. Hawthorne, Tales and Sketches

Only poets communicate heart to heart across the centuries.
Poet 41 Only the poet who writes speaks his message across the millennia to other hearts. Eiseley, The Star Thrower

While a farmer, Burns was no poet and while a poet, he was no farmer.
Poet 689 [Burns] was no poet while a farmer, and no farmer while a poet. Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance.

Poetry reminds men of their limitations.
Poetry 926 Kennedy: “When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations.” Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

Poetry is the antidote to the narrowing of existence by power.
Poetry 926 Kennedy: “When power narrows the area of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence.” Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

Poetry is about pretty birds and flowers.
Poetry 74 “Amory’s thinking about poetry, about the pretty birds and flowers….” Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise.

Poetry is useful in driving away love.
Poetry 44 I wonder who first discovered the efficacy of poetry in driving away love. Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice.

Poetry causes us to speak to ourselves.
Poetry 49 ...the now dominant if more melancholy lesson of poetry: how to speak to ourselves. Bloom, Western Canon.

Poetry clarifies our view of life.
Poetry 100 Dante is neither the first nor the last great poet to insist that his invention was a clearing of sight. Bloom, Western Canon.

Poetry speaks to our intuition.
Poetry 198 Both critics [Johnson and Hazlitt] find in Milton a power that converts learning into intuition: the power of invention, which Johnson considered the essence of poetry. Bloom, Western Canon.

The power of poetry to suggest.
Poetry 205 Clearly this would suggest a general metaphor for poetry, where ‘all things suggest all things.’ Bloom, Western Canon.

Poem making is vain and unprofitable.
Poetry 63 …expressing contempt of the ‘vain and unprofitable art of poem-making…’ Sir Walter Scott, Waverley.

Poems about heroes, lovers and wars are the chief entertainment of highland firesides in winter.
Poetry 115 “The recitation,” she [Flora Mac-Ivor] said “of poems, recording the feats of heroes, the complaints of lovers, and the wars of contending tribes, forms the chief amusement of a winter fireside in the highlands.” Sir Walter Scott, Waverley.

The poetic language of the highlands: love of the solitary and the barren.
Poetry 119 Flora: To speak in the poetical language of my country, the seat of the Celtic muse is in the midst of secret and solitary hill, and her voice in the murmur of the mountain stream; he who woos her must love the barren rock more than the fertile valley, and the solitude of the desert better than the festivity of the hall. Sir Walter Scott, Waverley.

My heart is in the highlands.
Poetry 153 My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here,/ My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;/ A chasing the wild deer, and following the roe,/ My heart’s in the Highlands wherever I go. Sir Walter Scott, Waverley.

Poetry of the gloomy and desponding school.
Poetry 537 The poetical young gentleman is fond of quoting passages from his favorite authors, who are all of the gloomy and desponding school. Dickens, Sketches by Boz.

Words that entrance by their trochaic lilt.
Poetry 136 The words “novelties and souvenirs” simply entranced her by their trochaic lilt. Nabokov, Lolita.

People responded to Lincoln’s death by writing poems.
Poetry 890 An epidemic of verse seized thousands…sent their rhymed lines to the New York Herald, which publicly notified them that if it were all printed there would be no space for news, wherefore none at all would be printed. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

On the death of Lincoln, the Chicago Tribune suffered a “severe attack of poetry.”
Poetry 890 The Chicago Tribune editorially notified them [poetry writers] it suffered from the “severe attack of poetry,” that three days brought 160 pieces beginning either “Toll, toll, ye mourning bells” or “Mourn, mourn ye tolling bells.” Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

To RP Warren, poetry was vital to ideas and life.
Poetry 192 RP Warren: But most of all I got the feeling that poetry was a vital activity, that it related to ideas and to life. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

The poet’s job is to translate God’s (or the Fiend’s) poem into words.
Poetry 268 Babette Deutsch: But the poet’s job is, after all, to translate God’s poem (or is it the Fiend’s) into words. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

He perceived world and existence in terms of symbols but could not write poetry.
Poetry 688 It is remarkable that this man, who, by his perception of symbols, saw the poetic construction of things, and the primary relation of mind to matter, remained entirely devoid of the whole apparatus of poetic expression, which that perception creates. Emerson,
Representative Men: Swedenborg, or The Mystic.

We’re surprised when we read a poet who lived in a past world who expresses something that lies close to our own soul.
Poetry 58 There is some awe mixed with the joy of our surprise, when this poet, who lived in some past world, two or three hundred years ago, says that which lies close to my own soul, that which I also had well-nigh thought and said. Emerson, The American Scholar.

All men respond to poetry.
Poetry 102 All men are poets at heart. Emerson, Literary Ethics.

The highest minds never stop exploring the multiple meanings of things.
Poetry 447 But the highest minds of the world have never ceased to explore the double meaning, or, shall I say, the quadruple, or the centuple, or much more manifold meaning, of every sensuous fact. Emerson, The Poet.

When I read a poem and can’t understand it, is it my fault or the poet’s?
Poetry 37 John Irving: When I read the poems of someone my own age and can’t understand a single thing, is that supposed to be a failure of my education, or the poetry? Plimpton, ed. The Writer's Chapbook.

I don’t understand some of my own poetry.
Poetry 90 Carl Sandburg: I’ve written some poetry I don’t understand myself. Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

People today are alienated from poetry.
Poetry 100 John Hall Wheelock: …we live in a world which is even more alienated from poetry than it used to be; most people don’t care or know anything about poetry. Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

When you hear a poem rather than read it, you are missing so much.
Poetry 292 Philip Larkin: Hearing a poem, as opposed to reading it on the page means you miss so much—the shape, the punctuation, the italics, even how far you are from the end. Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

What people miss when they listen to rather than read poetry.
Poetry 292 Philip Larkin: Reading [poetry] on the page means you can go your own pace, taking it in properly; hearing it means you’re dragged along at the speaker’s own rate, missing things, not taking it in, confusing “there” and “their” and things like that. Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

Listening to poetry is based on the false analogy with music, the score of which does not come alive until it is performed.
Poetry 292 Philip Larkin: In fact, I think poetry reading grew up on a false analogy with music: the text is the “score” that doesn’t “come to life” until it’s “performed”…false because people can read words whereas they can't read music. Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

The poet is an artist, craftsman and teacher.
Poetry 400 Euripides on the poet’s characteristics: superlative artistry, craftsmanship and the skill of a talented teacher…. Aristophanes, Frogs.

He was in a poetical depression.
Poetry 26 Mr. Snodgrass appeared to labor under a poetical depression of spirits….. Dickens, Pickwick.

Poetry is an unnatural way of expressing oneself.
Poetry 452 Mr. Weller to Sam: ‘Poetry’s unnat’ral; no man ever talked poetry.’ Dickens, Pickwick.

The artist converts pain into poetry.
Poetry and Pain 1295 The intellect is a consoler which delights in detaching or putting an interval between a man and his fortune, and so converts the sufferer into a spectator, and his pain into poetry. Emerson, Uncollected Prose.

Our comprehension needs both poetry and science.
Poetry, science 221 Poetry is as necessary to comprehension as science. Henry Beston, The Outermost House.

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