The lack of a sense of history is the damnation of the modern world.— Robert Penn Warren
The most cheerful Robert Penn Warren quotes that will be huge advantage for your personal development
I think the greatest curse of American society has been the idea of an easy millennialism -- that some new drug, or the next election or the latest in social engineering will solve everything.
The asking and the answering which history provides may help us to understand, even to frame, the logic of experience to which we shall submit. History cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and of our common humanity, so that we can better face the future.
Goodness . . . You got to make it out of badness . . . Because there isn't anything else to make it out of.
Storytelling and copulation are the two chief forms of amusement in the South.
They're inexpensive and easy to procure.
History is all explained by geography.
The poem is not a thing we see; it is, rather, a light by which we may see.
The past is always a rebuke to the present.
Tell me a story. In this century, and moment, of mania, Tell me a story. Make it a story of great distances, and starlight. The name of the story will be Time, But you must not pronounce its name. Tell me a story of deep delight.
A young man's ambition - to get along in the world and make a place for himself - half your life goes that way, till you're 45 or 50. Then, if you're lucky, you make terms with life, you get released.
Yet the definition we have made of ourselves is ourselves.
To break out of it, we must make a new self. But how can the self make a new self when the selflessness which it is, is the only substance from which the new self can be made?
The poem is a little myth of man's capacity of making life meaningful.
In one deep sense, novels are concealed autobiography.
I don't mean that you are telling facts about yourself, but you are trying to find out what you really think or who you are.
For what is a poem but a hazardous attempt at self-understanding: it is the deepest part of autobiography.
I don't expect you'll hear me writing any poems to the greater glory of Ronald and Nancy Reagan.
What is man but his passion?
Perhaps he had to be close in order to keep a reason for the things he did.
To make the things he did be themselves Life. And not merely a delightful exercise of technical skill which man had been able to achieve because he, of all the animals, had a fine thumb. Which is nonsense, for whatever you live is Life.
That summer we had been absolutely alone, together, even when people were around, the only inhabitants of the kind of floating island or magic carpet which being in love is.
More and more Emerson recedes grandly into history, as the future he predicted becomes a past.
When you get born your father and mother lost something out of themselves, and they are going to bust a ham trying to get it back, and you are it. They know they can't get it all back but they will get as big a chunk out of you as they can.
So little time we live in Time, And we learn all so painfully, That we may spare this hour's term To practice for Eternity.
...the air so still it aches like the place where the tooth was on the morning after you’ve been to the dentist or aches like your heart in the bosom when you stand on the street corner waiting for the light to change and happen to recollect how things once were and how they might have been yet if what happened had not happened.
For what is a poem, but a hazardous attempt at self-understanding.
It is the deepest part of autobiography.
The poet is in the end probably more afraid of the dogmatist who wants to extract the message from the poem and throw the poem away than he is of the sentimentalist who says, "Oh, just let me enjoy the poem."
It is human defect — to try to know oneself by the self of another.
There was nothing particularly wrong with them;
they were just the ordinary garden variety of human garbage.
A look at the past reminds us of how great is the distance, and how short, over which we have come. The past makes us ask what we have done with us. It makes us ask whether our very achievements are not ironical counterpoint and contrast to our fundamental failures.
Your business as a writer is not to illustrate virtue but to show how a fellow may move toward it or away from it.
And all times are one time, and all those dead in the past never lived before our definition gives them life, and out of the shadow their eyes implore us. That is what all of us historical researchers believe. And we love truth.
You don’t choose a story, it chooses you.
Politics is a matter of choices, and a man doesn't set up the choices himself.
And there is always a price to make a choice. You know that. You've made a choice, and you know how much it cost you. There is always a price.
Poets, we know, are terribly sensitive people, and in my observation one of the things they are most sensitive about is money.
I longed to know the world's name.
The poem is a little myth of man's capacity of making life meaningful.
And in the end, the poem is not a thing we see-it is, rather, a light by which we may see-and what we see is life.
Tell me a story of deep delight.
If you are an idealist, it does not matter what you do or what goes on around you because it isn't real anyway.
Then after a long time Annie wasn’t a little girl anymore.
She was a big girl and I was so much in love with her that I lived in a dream. In the dream my heart seemed to be ready to burst, for it seemed that the whole world was inside it swelling to get out and be the world. But that summer came to an end. Time passed and nothing happened that we had felt so certain at one time would happen.
History is not melodrama, even if it usually reads like that.
All I've tried to do (with my writing) is capture the essence of my time.
There is nothing more alone than being in a car at night in the rain.
Most writers are trying to find what they think or feel.
. . not simply working from the given, but toward the given, saying the unsayable and steadily asking, "What do I really feel about this?
[A]nd soon now we shall go out of the house and go into the convulsion of the world, out of history into history and the awful responsibility of Time.
But for the present I would lie there and know I didn't have to get up, and feel the holy emptiness and blessed fatigue of a saint after the dark night of the soul. For God and Nothing have a lot in common. You look either one of Them straight in the eye for a second and the immediate effect on the human constitution is the same.
The image that fiction presents is purged of the distractions, confusions and accidents of ordinary life.
What if angry vectors veer Round your sleeping head, and form.
There's never need to fear Violence of the poor world's abstract storm.
Real writers are those who want to write, need to write, have to write.
I reckon I am a smart aleck, but it is just a way to pass the time.
Reality is not a function of the event as event, but of the relationship of that event to past, and future, events.
You have to make the good out of the bad because that is all you have got to make it out of.
Dying--shucks! If you kin handle the living, what's to be afraid of the dying?