The non-artists among us are always terribly busy, but finally disappear without a trace.

— Helen Vendler

The most inspiring Helen Vendler quotes that are guaranted to improve your brain

Soul or Intelligence destined to possess the sense of Identity.

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The art of utterance persuades initially by its music and its rhythm, before semiotic or personal characteristics come into play.

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When I first heard Wallace Stevens voice, it was by chance: a friend wanted to listen to the recording he had made for the Harvard Vocarium Series.

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I do not give the honorific name of 'poetry' to the primitive and the unaccomplished.

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I was unnerved to learn in my twenties that the poems of Emily Dickinson that I had memorized as a girl were not the poems as she had written them.

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All good poets of the past, almost without exception, were at least bilingual if not trilingual.

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If you like the precision and concision of poetry, a page of prose is unsatisfying in a certain way. And poetry is so direct.

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There are not many poets whose fame rests on a single work.

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I liked teaching Henry James. When you look down at a Henry James novel from a helicopter height, you find an intricate spider web that all clings together.

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For the mind and the imagination, bookstores aren't enough, college courses aren't enough, the Internet isn't enough. Those resources are all governed by the tastes and needs of the moment. Only libraries take the long view, quietly shelving the unused with the used, knowing that one of these days the two categories will be reversed by a student's discovery of those hitherto undisturbed volumes whose contents will unsettle the learned world.

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A poem needs imaginative rhythms as well as imaginative transformation of content.

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Twentieth-century American poetry has been one of the glories of modern literature.

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About Helen Vendler

Quotes 18 sayings
Profession Poet
Birthday April 30, 1933

I like art history and art criticism.

Leo Steinberg has always been my favorite. Hes very original, very accurate and acute.

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Each poem leads you to the questions it makes sense to ask it.

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You don’t read or overhear the voice in the poem, you are the voice in the poem.

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For the critic, criticism is a form of natural self-expression, as poetry is to the poet. So, for a critic, criticism is a true thing. Criticism isn’t written for poets, it’s written for other readers. One hopes it is true for other readers if it’s true for oneself.

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One could say that artists are people who think naturally in highly patterned ways.

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