Selected Poems of Robert Nathan

Selected Poems of Robert Nathan

Selected Poems of Robert Nathan

Selected Poems of Robert Nathan

Excerpt

When I was young, poems were loved for their beauty. Designed to stir the heart rather than to tease the mind, they were remembered with emotion, and recited like music. This is a narrow view of poetry, dated and fusty; but it is a view which suited me very well. I believed that music was song, and poetry music. I have not altered that opinion. This book is small, but insofar as it is able, it sings.

I have never believed that size and art were one. Greatness of spirit, which can span whole histories, needs little more than a couplet in which to express itself. Within the walls of the sonnet, as in the body of the violin, there is room for everything. It has its own music, perfect and inviolate.

When I say that there is room for everything, I except the story, the endless flowing event, the march and sound of the great narrators whose histories I love. And I except, also, those modern young gentlemen of England, whose poetry is like an argument or a riddle . . .

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