Life is not a having and a getting, but a being and a becoming.

— Matthew Arnold

The most terrific Matthew Arnold quotes that will activate your desire to change

Our society distributes itself into Barbarians, Philistines and Populace;

and America is just ourselves with the Barbarians quite left out, and the Populace nearly.

73

The freethinking of one age is the common sense of the next.

58

Our inequality materializes our upper class, vulgarizes our middle class, brutalizes our lower class.

56

Philistine must have originally meant, in the mind of those who invented the nickname, a strong, dogged, unenlightened opponent of the chosen people, of the children of the light.

51

Strew on her roses, roses, And never a spray of yew! In quiet she reposes; Ah, would that I did too!

49

Culture, the acquainting ourselves with the best that has been known and said in the world, and thus with the history of the human spirit.

41

This strange disease of modern life, with its sick hurry, its divided aims.

27

Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can. That is the only secret.

23

The pursuit of perfection, then, is the pursuit of sweetness and light.

21

The future of poetry is immense, because in poetry, where it is worthy of its high destinies, our race, as time goes on, will find an ever surer and surer stay ... More and more mankind will discover that we have to turn to poetry to interpret life for us, to console us, to sustain us.

21

The bent of our time is towards science, towards knowing things as they are.

18

Where great whales come sailing by, Sail and sail, with unshut eye, Round the world for ever and aye.

16

About Matthew Arnold

Quotes 236 sayings
Nationality English
Profession Poet
Birthday October 16

Journalism is literature in a hurry.

15

The difference between genuine poetry and the poetry of Dryden, Pope, and all their school, is briefly this: their poetry is conceived and composed in their wits, genuine poetry is conceived and composed in the soul.

15

The need of expansion is as genuine an instinct in man as the need in a plant for the light, or the need in man himself for going upright. The love of liberty is simply the instinct in man for expansion.

15

For the creation of a masterwork of literature two powers must concur, the power of the man and the power of the moment, and the man is not enough without the moment.

15

Greatness is a spiritual condition.

13

Below the surface stream, shallow and light, Of what we say and feel below the stream, As light, of what we think we feel, there flows With noiseless current, strong, obscure and deep, The central stream of what we feel indeed.

13

Years hence, perhaps, may dawn an age, More fortunate, alas! than we, Which without hardness will be sage, And gay without frivolity.

12

Too quick despairer, wherefore wilt thou go? Soon will the high Midsummer pomps come on, Soon will the musk carnations break and swell.

12

Unquiet souls. In the dark fermentation of earth, in the never idle workshop of nature, in the eternal movement, yea shall find yourselves again.

11

Home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names, and impossible loyalties!

11

Genius is mainly an affair of energy.

9

Now the great winds shoreward blow Now the salt tides seaward flow Now the wild white horses play Champ and chafe and toss in the spray.

8

Let the long contention cease! / Geese are swans, and swans are geese.

7

Dreams dawn and fly: friends smile and die, Like spring flowers.

Our vaunted life is one long funeral. Men dig graves, with bitter tears, For their dead hopes; and all, Mazed with doubts, and sick with fears, Count the hours.

7

The working-class is now issuing from its hiding-place to assert an Englishman's heaven-born privilege of doing as he likes, and is beginning to perplex us by marching where it likes, meeting where it likes, bawling what it likes, breaking what it likes.

6

Beautiful city! . . . spreading her gardens to the moonlight, and whispering from her towers the last enchantments of the Middle Age . . . her ineffable charm. . . . Adorable dreamer, whose heart has been so romantic!

6

The uppermost idea with Hellenism is to see things as they really are;

the uppermost ideas with Hebraism is conduct and obedience.Nothing can do away with this ineffaceable difference. The Greek quarrel with the body and its desires is, that they hinder right thinking; the Hebrew quarrel with them is, that they hinder right acting.

6

The true meaning of religion is thus, not simply morality, but morality touched by emotion.

6

All the biblical miracles will at last disappear with the progress of science.

6

Wandering between two worlds, one dead, The other powerless to be born.

5

And see all sights from pole to pole, And glance, and nod, and hustle by;

And never once possess our soul Before we die.

5

Still bent to make some port he knows not where, still standing for some false impossible shore.

5

The same heart beats in every human breast.

5

Truth sits upon the lips of dying men.

5

Change doth unknit the tranquil strength of men.

5

The grand stye arises in poetry, when a noble nature, poetically gifted, treats with simplicity or with severity a serious subject.

5

They... who await. No gifts from Chance, have conquered Fate.

4

Calm's not life's crown, though calm is well.

4

Poetry; a criticism of life under the conditions fixed for such a criticism by the laws of poetic truth and poetic beauty.

4

Bald as the bare mountain tops are bald, with a baldness full of grandeur.

4

Man errs not that he deems His welfare his true aim, He errs because he dreams The world does but exist that welfare to bestow.

4

One thing only has been lent to youth and age in common--discontent.

4

The sea is calm tonight. The tide is full, the moon lies fair Upon the straits;- on the French coast the light Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand, glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.

4

What is it to grow old? Is it to lose the glory of the form, The lustre of the eye? Is it for Beauty to forego her wreath? Yes; but not this alone.

4

Culture is the passion for sweetness and light, and (what is more) the passion for making them prevail.

4

Culture, then, is a study of perfection, and perfection which insists on becoming something rather than in having something, in an inward condition of the mind and spirit, not in an outward set of circumstances.

3

But each day brings its petty dust our soon-choked souls to fill, and we forget because we must, and not because we will.

3
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