HumanitiesWeb.org - Edgar Lee Masters - The Norman Rockwell of Poetry [Quotations]
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Edgar Lee Masters
Quotations



"There was nothing new about free verse except in the minds of illiterate academicians and quiet formalists like William Dean Howells, who called Spoon River "shredded prose." Reedy understood all these things as well as I. He knew that Imagism was not a new thing, though he kept urging me to make the Anthology more imagistic, and I refused, except where imagism as vivid description in the Shakespearean practice was called for. I had had too much study in verse, too much practice too, to be interested in such worthless experiments as polyphonic prose, an innovation as absurd as Dadaism or Cubism or Futurism or Unanimism, all grotesqueries of the hour, and all worthless, since they were without thought, sincerity, substance."

"Genius is a bend in the creek where bright water has gathered, and which mirrors the trees, the sky and the banks. It just does that because it is there and the scenery is there. Talent is a fine mirror with a silver frame, with the name of the owner engraved on the back. "
 
"Immortality is not a gift, Immortality is an achievement; And only those who strive mightily Shall possess it."
 
"How shall the soul of a man be larger than the life he has lived?"
 
"Those who first oppose a good work, seize it and make it their own, when the corner - stone is laid and memorial tablets are erected."
 
"There was nothing new about free verse except in the minds of illiterate academicians and quiet formalists like William Dean Howells, who called Spoon River "shredded prose." Reedy understood all these things as well as I. He knew that Imagism was not a new thing, though he kept urging me to make the Anthology more imagistic, and I refused, except where imagism as vivid description in the Shakespearean practice was called for. I had had too much study in verse, too much practice too, to be interested in such worthless experiments as polyphonic prose, an innovation as absurd as Dadaism or Cubism or Futurism or Unanimism, all grotesqueries of the hour, and all worthless, since they were without thought, sincerity, substance."
 
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