Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell

(7 September 1887 - 9 December 1964 / Scarborough, Yorkshire)

Quotations

  • ''Jane, Jane,
    Tall as a crane,
    The morning light creaks down again;''
    Dame Edith Sitwell (1887-1964), British poet. Jane, Jane,/ Tall as a crane (l. 1-3). . . Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, The. Richard Ellmann and Robert O'Clair, eds. (2d ed., 1988) W. W. Norton & Company.
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  • ''The light would show (if it could harden)
    Eternities of kitchen garden,''
    Dame Edith Sitwell (1887-1964), British poet. Jane, Jane,/ Tall as a crane (l. 14-15). . . Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, The. Richard Ellmann and Robert O'Clair, eds. (2d ed., 1988) W. W. Norton & Company.
  • ''I'm not the man to baulk at a low smell,
    I'm not the man to insist on asphodel.
    This sounds like a He-fellow, don't you think?
    It sounds like that. I belch, I bawl, I drink.''
    Dame Edith Sitwell (1887-1964), British poet, critic. "One-Way Song."
  • ''Mother or Murderer, you have
    given or taken life—
    Now all is one!''
    Dame Edith Sitwell (1887-1964), British poet. Poems of the Atomic Bomb: Dirge for the New Sunrise (l. 14-16). . . Modern British Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed. (7th rev. ed., 1962) Harcourt, Brace and Company.
  • ''The ghost of the heart of manred Cain
    And the more murderous brain
    Of Man, still redder Nero that conceived the death
    Of his mother Earth, and tore
    Her womb, to know the place where he was conceived.''
    Dame Edith Sitwell (1887-1964), British poet. Poems of the Atomic Bomb: Dirge for the New Sunrise (l. 6-10). . . Modern British Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed. (7th rev. ed., 1962) Harcourt, Brace and Company.
  • ''But I saw the little-Ant men as they ran
    Carrying the world's weight of the world's filth
    And the filth in the heart of Man—
    Compressed till those lusts and greeds had a greater heat
    than that of the Sun.''
    Dame Edith Sitwell (1887-1964), British poet. Poems of the Atomic Bomb: Dirge for the New Sunrise (l. 25-29). . . Modern British Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed. (7th rev. ed., 1962) Harcourt, Brace and Company.
  • ''The living blind and seeing Dead together lie
    As if in love . . . There was no more hating then,
    And no more love; Gone is the heart of Man.''
    Dame Edith Sitwell (1887-1964), British poet. Poems of the Atomic Bomb: Dirge for the New Sunrise (l. 36-38). . . Modern British Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed. (7th rev. ed., 1962) Harcourt, Brace and Company.
  • ''Our hearts seemed safe in our breasts and sang to the
    Light—
    The marrow in the bone
    We dreamed was safe . . . the blood in the veins, the
    sap in the tree
    Were springs of Deity.''
    Dame Edith Sitwell (1887-1964), British poet. Poems of the Atomic Bomb; Dirge for the New Sunrise (l. 20-24). . . Modern British Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed. (7th rev. ed., 1962) Harcourt, Brace and Company.
  • ''I have often wished I had time to cultivate modesty.... But I am too busy thinking about myself.''
    Dame Edith Sitwell (1887-1964), British poet. Quoted in Observer (London, April 30, 1950).
  • ''In a borealic iceberg came Victoria; she
    Knew Prince Albert's tall memorial took the colours of the floreal
    And the borealic iceberg;''
    Dame Edith Sitwell (1887-1964), British poet. Sailors Come. . . Oxford Anthology of English Literature, The, Vols. I-II. Frank Kermode and John Hollander, general eds. (1973) Oxford University Press (Also published as six paperback vols.: Medieval English Literature, J. B. Trapp, ed.; The Literature of Renaissance England, John Hollander and Frank Kermode, eds.; The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century, Martin Price, ed.; Romantic Poetry and Prose, Harold Bloom and Lionel Trilling, eds.; Victorian Prose and Poetry, Lionel Trilling and Harold Bloom, eds.; Modern British Literature, Frank Kermode and John Hollander, eds.).

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Bells Of Gray Crystal

Bells of gray crystal
Break on each bough--
The swans' breath will mist all
The cold airs now.
Like tall pagodas
Two people go,
Trail their long codas
Of talk through the snow.
Lonely are these
And lonely and I ....
The clouds, gray Chinese geese
Sleek through the sky.

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