Robert Graves

(1895 - 1985 / London / England)

Robert Graves Quotes

  • ''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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The Poet in the Nursery

The youngest poet down the shelves was fumbling
In a dim library, just behind the chair
From which the ancient poet was mum-mumbling
A song about some Lovers at a Fair,
Pulling his long white beard and gently grumbling
That rhymes were beastly things and never there.

And as I groped, the whole time I was thinking
About the tragic poem I’d been writing,...

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