Quotes from the Romantics

 Friedrich, “Wanderer Above the Mists”

1.  “A cheerful life is what the Muses love, A soaring spirit is their prime delight. ” – William Wordsworth

2. “Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher. “- Wordsworth

3.”Faith is a passionate intuition. “- Wordsworth

4. “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”- Wordsworth 

5.  “Life is divided into three terms – that which was, which is, and which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the present, and from the present to live better in the future.”- Wordsworth

6. “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her. “- Wordsworth

7.  “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.”- Wordsworth

8. “That though the radiance which was once so bright be now forever taken from my sight. Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, glory in the flower. We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind.”

9.  “To begin, begin.”- Wordsworth

10.  “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,’ – that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. “- Keats

11.  “He ne’er is crowned with immortality Who fears to follow where airy voices lead. “- Keats

12.  “I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart’s affections, and the truth of imagination.”- Keats

13. “It appears to me that almost any man may like the spider spin from his own inwards his own airy citadel.”- Keats

14. “Poetry should surprise by a fine excess and not by singularity, it should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance. ”

15.  “Praise or blame has but a momentary effect on the man whose love of beauty in the abstract makes him a severe critic on his own works. ”

16.  “You speak of Lord Byron and me; there is this great difference between us. He describes what he sees I describe what I imagine. Mine is the hardest task.”- Keats

17.  “A truth that’s told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent. “- William Blake

18.  “Active Evil is better than Passive Good. “- Blake

19.  “As a man is, so he sees. As the eye is formed, such are its powers.”- Blake

20. “Do what you will, this world’s a fiction and is made up of contradiction.”- Blake

21. “Energy is an eternal delight, and he who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.”- Blake

22.  “For everything that lives is holy, life delights in life.”- Blake

23. “Great things are done when men and mountains meet. “- Blake

24.  “I must create a system or be enslaved by another mans; I will not reason and compare: my business is to create. “- Blake

25.  “If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.”- Blake

26.  ” If a thing loves, it is infinite. “- Blake

27.  “Imagination is the real and eternal world of which this vegetable universe is but a faint shadow. “- Blake

28.  “In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.”- Blake

29- “The difference between a bad artist and a good one is: the bad artist seems to copy a great deal; the good one really does. “- Blake

30.  “The soul of sweet delight, can never be defiled.”- Blake

31.  ” The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself. “- Blake

32.  “Those who restrain their desires, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained. “- Blake

33.  “To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower Hold infinity in the palms of your hand and eternity in an hour. “- Blake

34.  “What is now proved was once only imagined.”- Blake

35.  “If I could always read, I should never feel the want of company.”- Byron

36.   “If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad.”- Byron

37.  ” In solitude, where we are least alone. “- Byron

38. “The ‘good old times’ – all times when old are good. “- Byron

39.  “The great art of life is sensation, to feel that we exist, even in pain.”- Byron

40.  ” Truth is always strange, stranger than fiction. “- Byron

41.  “To withdraw myself from myself has ever been my sole, my entire, my sincere motive in scribbling at all. “- Byron

42.  “A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. “- Percy Shelley

43.  “Death is the veil which those who live call life; They sleep, and it is lifted.”- Shelley

44.   “Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted.”- Shelley

45.   “Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar. “- Shelley

46.”The pleasure that is in sorrow is sweeter than the pleasure of pleasure itself. “- Shelley

47.  “The soul’s joy lies in doing.”- Shelley

 “Funeral of Shelley” by Fournier

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Published in: on January 16, 2010 at 6:31 pm  Comments (14)  
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14 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Great collection. For a long time I loathed the Romantics, because that is all I read in high school and in college, but now I come to appreciate them and hold them an uneasy yet close distance from myself.

  2. Hey Ralfast,

    Glad you like the quotes. I can understand you not enjoying the Romantics back in school. I didn’t really like any poetry we studied. But then, I believe poetry should just be enjoyed and felt with the senses. NOT, analyze to death every word in the poem. (which is what the teacher made us do)

  3. My favorite among these is #11. Sometimes that’s what I feel like I’m doing by writing at all, following airy voices that most people would just dismiss.

  4. DD,

    It’s hard for me to pick a favorite, but I do love that one for the same reason you mentioned. And my airy voices don’t let me dismiss them!

  5. I think of all of them, Blake is my favorite. His art is striking and has a flare of gnosticism in it. Among them he was the most daring and perhaps closest to the German predecessors of the Sturm und Drang movement.

  6. Ralfast,

    I LOVE Blake. An extraordinary visionary in so many ways.

    I came across this link you might like: http://bahumuth.chaosnet.org/blake.html

  7. I may use #18 in my sig line on the various fora I haunt. It so strikes a chord with me, for reasons I am unable to pinpoint.

    Excellent list.

  8. BigWords,

    It strikes a very heavy chord with me, too. “Good” people looking away because they don’t “want to get involved”- upsets me so much.

  9. I love the rhythm of Wordsworth’s poetry. And I love Blake. So many of his words have changed my life: ‘Energy is an eternal delight’ cured me of laziness forever. Someone scrawled it on the bleachers of our local university, and it has stayed with me to this day. And ‘nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, glory in the flower’ will always make me cry, especially given what follows it, which is so beautifully poignant and brave.

    I’ve never much liked Keats’ ‘Beauty is truth and truth beauty’. That’s far too simplistic.

  10. Hi Mary,

    “Energy is an eternal delight”, reminds me of Sarah Bernhardt’s motto: “Energy creates energy. It’s by spending oneself that one becomes rich.” I love both, and keep them in the forefront of my mind.

    I also do like Keat’s beauty and truth quote. I interpret it as him meaning to be open to the beauty around us in the world. That our greatest teacher is nature.

  11. If “A cheerful life is what Muses love” it’s no wonder they keep running from me. I’m a bitch first thing in the morning!

  12. Amy,

    Heh heh. Well, maybe you can try to strike up a deal with them so that they don’t come by until you’ve had your fifth cup of coffee for the day. 😉

  13. Keats truth quote has been one of my favorites since I was little and first heard it. It’s so pure and simple.

  14. Hey Colby,

    Glad you like it. 🙂


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