Laura Riding

(January 16, 1901 – September 2, 1991 / New York City)

Laura Riding
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an American poet, critic, novelist, essayist and short story writer.

Early Life

She was born Laura Reichenthal in New York to a family of Austrian Jewish immigrants, and educated at Cornell University, where she began to write poetry, publishing first (1923–26) under the name Laura Riding Gottschalk. She became associated with the Fugitives through Allen Tate, and they published her poems in The Fugitive magazine. Her first marriage, to historian Louis R. Gottschalk (1899–1975), ended in divorce in 1925, at the end of which year she went to England at the invitation of Robert Graves and his wife Nancy Nicholson. She would remain in Europe for nearly 14 ... more »

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  • ''There can be no literary equivalent to truth.''
    Laura Riding (1901-1991), U.S. poet. Extracts from Communications.
  • ''Art, whose honesty must work through artifice, cannot avoid cheating truth.''
    Laura Riding (1901-1991), U.S. poet. Selected Poems: In Five Sets, preface (1975).
  • ''To a poet the mere making of a poem can seem to solve the problem of truth ... but only a problem of art is solved in poetry.''
    Laura Riding (1901-1991), U.S. poet. Selected Poems: In Five Sets, preface (1975).
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Best Poem of Laura Riding

The Poet's Corner

Here where the end of bone is no end of song
And the earth is bedecked with immortality
In what was poetry
And now is pride beside
And nationality,
Here is a battle with no bravery
But if the coward's tongue has gone
Swording his own lusty lung.
Listen if there is victory
Written into a library
Waving the books in banners
Soldierly at last, for the lines
Go marching on, delivered of the soul.

And happily may they rest beyond
Suspicion now, the incomprehensibles
Traitorous in such talking
As chattered over their countries' boundaries.
The ...

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