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John C. Ransom Quotes

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John C. Ransom

But we moderns are impatient and destructive.


Till now poets were privileged to insert a certain proportion of nonsense - very far in excess of one-half of one per cent - into their otherwise sober documents.


When critics are waiting to pounce upon poetic style on exactly the same grounds as if it were prose, the poets tremble.


And how can poetry stand up against its new conditions? Its position is perfectly precarious.


Now between the meanings of words and their sounds there is ordinarily no discoverable relation except one of accident; and it is therefore miraculous, to the mystic, when words which make sense can also make a uniform objective structure of accents and rhymes.


For no art and no religion is possible until we make allowances, until we manage to keep quiet the enfant terrible of logic that plays havoc with the other faculties.


The arts generally have had to recognize Modernism - how should poetry escape?


And yet what is Modernism? It is undefined.


It is a miracle of harmony, of the adaptation of the free inner life to the outward necessity of things.


Too much is demanded by the critic, attempted by the poet.


Or he can work it out as a metrical and formal exercise, but he will be disappointed in its content. The New Year's prospect fairly chills his daunting breast.


Their free verse was no form at all, yet it made history.


He can develop sense and style, in the manner of distinguished modern prose, in which event he may be sure that the result will not fall into any objective form.


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