American Author, Literary Critic and Poet
George Edward Woodberry
American Author, Literary Critic and Poet
Art is expression; what is expressed is often the vision of a subtle and powerful soul, and also his experience with his vision; and however vivid and skilful he may be in the means of expression, yet it is frequently found that the master-spell in his work is something felt to be indefinable and inexpressible.
Shakespeare is, essentially, the emanation of the Renaissance. The overflow of his fame on the Continent in later years was but the sequel of the flood of the Renaissance in Western Europe. He was the child of that great movement, and marks its height as it penetrated the North with civilization.
Education has really one basic factor, a sine qua non-you must want it
The critic is genius at one remove; he is not unlike an actor on the stage, and incarnates in his mind, as the actor embodies in his person, another's work; only thus does he understand art, realize it, know it; and having arrived at this, his task is done.
Genius is that in which the soul of a race bums at its brightest, revealing and preserving its vision; works of art are great and significant in proportion to the clarity and fulness with which they incarnate this vision.
The Greeks, those originators of the intellectual life, fixed for us the idea of the poet. He was a divine man; more sacred than the priest, who was at best an intermediary between men and the gods, but in the poet the god was present and spoke.
I am quite sure that no friendship yields its true pleasure and nobility of nature without frequent communication, sympathy and service.
The growth of art seems to be in cycles, and often its vigorous lifetime is restricted to a century or two. The periods of distinctive drama, Greek, English, Spanish, fall within such a limit; the schools of painting and sculpture likewise; and, in poetry, the Victorian age or the school of Pope will serve as examples.
I seldom deal in symbolisms; if there be hidden meanings in my verse, they are there without my knowledge.
The language of literature is the language of all the world. It is necessary to divest ourselves at once of the notion of diversified vocal and grammatical speech which constitutes the various tongues of the Earth, and conceals the identity of image and logic in the minds of all men.
If the aristocracy of the whole white race is so to melt in a world of the colored races of the Earth, I for one should only rejoice in such a divine triumph of the sacrificial idea in history; for it would mean the humanization of mankind.
The poet craves emotion, and feeds the fire that consumes him, and only under this condition is he baptized with creative power.
Is there not an art, a music, and a stream of words that shalt be life, the acknowledged voice of life?
The school of life embodies a compulsory education that no man escapes
It is not meant that the artist, in arriving at truth, must follow the way of the scientist, or, in stating it, the way of the philosopher.
The sense that someone else cares always helps because it is the sense of love.
Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse. Murphy's First Corollary If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the next morning you will have a flat tire.
The world is a multiplicity, a harvest-field, a battle-ground; and thence arises through human contact ways of numbering, or mathematics, ways of tillage, or agriculture, ways of fighting, or military tactics and strategy, and these are incorporated in individuals as habits of life.
A marvelous power of expression over language often distinguishes genius; but Shakespeare in his phrases seems independent of the bonds of language as of the bonds of metre.
Much of a poet's experience takes place in imagination only; the life he tells is oftenest the life that he strongly desires to live, and the power, the purity and height of his utterance may not seldom be the greater because experience here uses the voices of desire.
To be faithful to your instincts and the impulses that carry you in the direction of the excellence you most desire and value ... surely that is to lead the noble life.
A nation's poets are its true owners; and by the stroke of the pen they convey the title-deeds of its real possessions to strangers and aliens.
My first recollection of hearing Wendell Phillips is from my college days, though of course he was always one of my heroes, and I may have heard him before, for we were an anti-slavery family.
To realize life in the abstract as noble or beautiful or humane, to set it forth so with radiance upon it, that is civilization in the arts. Shakespeare is the chief modern example of this supreme faculty of mankind.
A writer is justly called 'universal' when he is understood within the limits of his civilization, though that be bounded by a country or an age.