Robert Graves

(1895 - 1985 / London / England)

Quotations

  • ''Anthropologists are a connecting link between poets and scientists; though their field-work among primitive peoples has often made them forget the language of science.''
    Robert Graves (1895-1985), British poet, novelist. Speech, December 6, 1963, London School of Economics. "Mammon," Mammon and the Black Goddess (1965).
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  • ''What we now call "finance" is, I hold, an intellectual perversion of what began as warm human love.''
    Robert Graves (1895-1985), British poet, novelist. speech, Dec. 6, 1963, London School of Economics. "Mammon," Mammon and the Black Goddess (1965).
  • ''If there's no money in poetry, neither is there poetry in money.''
    Robert Graves (1895-1985), British poet, novelist. speech, Dec. 6, 1963, London School of Economics. "Mammon," Mammon and the Black Goddess (1965).
  • ''The award of a pure gold medal for poetry would flatter the recipient unduly: no poem ever attains such carat purity.''
    Robert Graves (1895-1985), British poet, novelist. Address, January 1960, to the Oxford University Philological Society. "Poetic Gold," Oxford Addresses on Poetry (1962). Graves had been awarded a gold medal for services to poetry by the National Poetry Society of America.
  • ''The remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that he is really very good—in spite of all the people who say he is very good.''
    Robert Graves (1895-1985), British poet, novelist. quoted in Observer (London, Dec. 6, 1964).
  • ''Nine-tenths of English poetic literature is the result either of vulgar careerism or of a poet trying to keep his hand in. Most poets are dead by their late twenties.''
    Robert Graves (1895-1985), British poet, novelist. Quoted in Observer (London, November 11, 1962).
  • ''To be a poet is a condition rather than a profession.''
    Robert Graves (1895-1985), British poet, novelist. Reply to questionnaire, "The Cost of Letters," Horizon (London, September 1946).

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Not to sleep

Not to sleep all the night long, for pure joy,
Counting no sheep and careless of chimes
Welcoming the dawn confabulation
Of birch, her children, who discuss idly
Fanciful details of the promised coming -
Will she be wearing red, or russet, or blue,
Or pure white? - whatever she wears, glorious:
Not to sleep all the night long, for pure joy,
This is given to few but at last to me,

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