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Quotation of the Day for August 2, 2010
"I wonder how many people do think that poetry seems, and the making of poetry seems, a little trivial or flippant even, in a time like this. I doubt many of you do. One has to be careful in my position- connected as much as I am or as little as I am with poetry-not to claim too much for it. One is always in danger of claiming too much for his own work, or his own job, or his own occupation, or his own calling, because it is his own. I suppose a good many people off-hand would expect of me to claim for poetry that "anyway it's the place of ideals, and the poets are the keepers of ideals." And I'd be willing to leave that to somebody else: to the ladies or the children-let them be the keepers of ideals-the young hopefuls or somebody like that.
"A poet is something else, isn't he? He's a person who dwells on what he has, gloats. Poetry is a kind of gloating, instead of a kind of idealizing. Dwelling on, dwelling in, indwelling. Settling in, settling in to life, settling in between the arms of a good chair. Another definition-you look for an ideal or two, suppose peace were an ideal. Is peace an ideal? It's very difficult to say peace is an ideal unless you go on to define an ideal as something you can't possibly have but can't possibly help wanting to have. That'd be another way to look at an ideal."
- Robert Frost, adapted from 'The Claims of Poetry,' a lecture delivered May 9, 1944, at Dartmouth College.
Submitted by: Mike Krawchuk
Jul. 27, 2010
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