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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Quotations

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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 World And I

This is not exactly what I mean
Any more than the sun is the sun.
But how to mean more closely
If the sun shines but approximately?
What a world of awkwardness!
What hostile implements of sense!
Perhaps this is as close a meaning
As perhaps becomes such knowing.
Else I think the world and I
Must live together as strangers and die—
A sour love, each doubtful whether
Was ever a thing to love the other.
No, better for both to be nearly sure
Each of each—exactly where
Exactly I and exactly the world
Fail to meet by a moment, and a word.

Read the full of The World And I

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