Love is a universal migraine. A bright stain on the vision, Blotting out reason.— Robert Graves
The most profound Robert Graves quotes that are free to learn and impress others
There is no such thing as good writing, only good rewriting.
There's no money in poetry, but then there's no poetry in money, either.
The remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that he really is very good, in spite of all the people who say he is very good.
Every English poet should master the rules of grammar before he attempts to bend or break them.
Hardly one soldier in a hundred was inspired by religious feeling of even the crudest kind. It would have been difficult to remain religious in the trenches even if one had survived the irreligion of the training battalion at home.
For I now realize that what overcame me that evening was a sudden awareness of the power of intuition, the supra-logic that cuts out all routine processes of thought and leaps straight from problem to answer.
Before an attack, the platoon pools all its available cash and the survivors divide it up afterwards. Those who are killed can't complain, the wounded would have given far more than that to escape as they have, and the unwounded regard the money as a consolation prize for still being here.
Poetry is no more a narcotic than a stimulant;
it is a universal bittersweet mixture for all possible household emergencies and its action varies accordingly as it is taken in a wineglass or a tablespoon, inhaled, gargled or rubbed on the chest by hard fingers covered with rings.
Kill if you must, but never hate: Man is but grass and hate is blight, The sun will scorch you soon or late, Die wholesome then, since you must fight
I was last in Rome in AD 540 when it was full of Goths and their heavy horses.
It has changed a great deal since then.
So when I'm killed, don't wait for me, Walking the dim corridor;
In Heaven or Hell, don't wait for me, Or you must wait for evermore. You'll find me buried, living-dead In these verses that you've read.
What we now call "finance" is, I hold, an intellectual perversion of what began as warm human love.
She told me that all the girls in Annezin prayed every night for the war to end and for the English to go away as soon as their money was spent. She said that the clause about the money was always repeated in case God should miss it.
When a dream is born in you With a sudden clamorous pain, When you know the dream is true And lovely, with no flaw nor stain, O then, be careful, or with sudden clutch You'll hurt the delicate thing you prize so much.
Love is universal migraine, A bright stain on the vision Blotting out reason.
Symptoms of true love Are leanness, jealousy, Laggard dawns; Are omens and nightmares - Listening for a knock, Waiting for a sign: For a touch of her fingers In a darkened room, For a searching look. Take courage, lover! Could you endure such pain At any hand but hers?
Any honest housewife would sort them out,/ Having a nose for fish, an eye for apples.
The butterfly, a cabbage-white, (His honest idiocy of flight) Will never now, it is too late, Master the art of flying straight.
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.
If I were a girl, I'd despair. The supply of good women far exceeds that of the men who deserve them.
A well-chosen anthology is a complete dispensary of medicine for the more common mental disorders, and may be used as much for prevention as cure.
I believe that every English poet should read the English classics, master the rules of grammar before he attempts to bend or break them, travel abroad, experience the horrors of sordid passion, and - if he is lucky enough - know the love of an honest woman.
Every fairy child may keep Two strong ponies and ten sheep;
All have houses, each his own, Built of brick or granite stone; They live on cherries, they run wild I'd love to be a Fairy's child.
This seems to me a philosophical question, and therefore irrelevant, question.
A poet's destiny is to love.
A perfect poem is impossible. Once it had been written, the world would end. Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.
Entrance and exit wounds are silvered clean, The track aches only when the rain reminds. The one-legged man forgets his leg of wood, The one-armed man his jointed wooden arm. The blinded man sees with his ears and hands As much or more than once with both his eyes.
As was the custom in such cases, the pear tree was charged with murder and sentenced to be uprooted and burned.
The award of a pure gold medal for poetry would flatter the recipient unduly: no poem ever attains such carat purity.
We forget cruelty and past betrayal, Heedless of where the next bright bolt may fall.
I do not love the Sabbath, The soapsuds and the starch, The troops of solemn people Who to Salvation march. I take my book, I take my stick On the Sabbath day, In woody nooks and valleys I hide myself away. To ponder there in quiet God's Universal Plan, Resolved that church and Sabbath Were never made for man.
Children born of fairy stock Never need for shirt or frock, Never want for food or fire, Always get their heart's desire.
If I thought that any poem of mine could have been written by anyone else, either a contemporary or a forerunner, I should suppress it with a blush; and I should do the same if I ever found I were imitating myself. Every poem should be new, unexpected, inimitable, and incapable of being parodied.
Patriotism, in the trenches, was too remote a sentiment, and at once rejected as fit only for civilians, or prisoners. A new arrival who talked patriotism would soon be told to cut it out.
Genius not only diagnoses the situation but supplies the answers.
The sap of Spring in the young wood a-stir Will celebrate with green the Mother, And every song-bird shout awhile for her; But we are gifted, even in November Rawest of seasons, with so huge a sense Of Her nakedly worn magnificence We forget cruelty and past betrayal, Heedless of where the next bright bolt may fall.
One gets to the heart of the matter by a series of experiences in the same pattern, but in different colors.
The function of poetry is religious invocation of the muse;
its use is the experience of mixed exaltation and horror that her presence excites.
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.
No honest theologian therefore can deny that his acceptance of Jesus as Christ logically binds every Christian to a belief in reincarnation - in Elias case (who was later John the Baptist) at least.
There should be two main objectives in ordinary prose writing: to convey a message and to include in it nothing that will distract the reader's attention or check his habitual pace of reading - he should feel that he is seated at ease in a taxi, not riding a temperamental horse through traffic.
No poem is worth anything unless it starts from a poetic trance, out of which you can be wakened by interruption as from a dream. In fact, it is the same thing.
Through the window I can see Rooks above the cherry-tree, Sparrows in the violet bed, Bramble-bush and bumble-bee, And old red bracken smoulders still Among boulders on the hill, Far too bright to seem quite dead. But old Death, who can't forget, Waits his time and watches yet, Waits and watches by the door.
Since the age of 15 poetry has been my ruling passion and I have never intentionally undertaken any task or formed any relationship that seemed inconsistent with poetic principles; which has sometimes won me the reputation of an eccentric.
About this business of being a gentleman: I paid so heavily for the fourteen years of my gentleman's education that I feel entitled, now and then, to get some sort of return.
Marriage, like money, is still with us; and, like money, progressively devalued.
Lovers to-day and for all time Preserve the meaning of my rhyme: Love is not kindly nor yet grim But does to you as you to him.
There's no money in poetry, but there's no poetry in money, either.
I don't really feel my poems are mine at all.
I didn't create them out of nothing. I owe them to my relations with other people.
Fact is not truth, but a poet who wilfully defies fact cannot achieve truth.
I revise the manuscript till I can't read it any longer, then I get somebody to type it. Then I revise the typing. Then it's retyped again. Then there's a third typing, which is the final one. Nothing should then remain that offends the eye.