Matthew Arnold Quotes

Bald as the bare mountain tops are bald, with a baldness full of grandeur.
Matthew Arnold (1822-1888), British poet, critic. Essays in Criticism, preface to "Poems of Wordsworth," Second Series (1888).
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The man Shelley, in very truth, is not entirely sane, and Shelley's poetry is not entirely sane either. The Shelley of actual life is a vision of beauty and radiance, indeed, but availing nothing, effecting nothing. And in poetry, no less than in life, he is "a beautiful and ineffectual angel, beating in the void his luminous wings in vain."
Matthew Arnold (1822-1888), British poet, critic. Review first published (1886). Essays in Criticism, "Shelley," Second Series (1888). Closing words of review. The quotation referred to is to be found in another essay by Arnold, "Byron"Malso collected in this volume. Arnold was appalled at what he considered the depravity of Shelley's personal life: "What a set! what a world!... One feels sickened for ever of the subject of irregular relations."
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The man Shelley, in very truth, is not entirely sane, and Shelley's poetry is not entirely sane either. The Shelley of actual life is a vision of beauty and radiance, indeed, but availing nothing, effecting nothing. And in poetry, no less than in life, he is a beautiful and ineffectual angel, beating in the void his luminous wings in vain."
Matthew Arnold (1822-1888), British poet, critic. Review first published (1886). Essays in Criticism, "Shelley," Second Series (1888). Closing words of review. The quotation referred to is to be found in another essay by Arnold, "Byron" also collected in this volume. Arnold was appalled at what he considered the depravity of Shelley's personal life: "What a set! what a world!... One feels sickened for ever of the subject of irregular relations."
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'Tis not to see the world As from a height, with rapt prophetic eyes, And heart profoundly stirred; And weep, and feel the fullness of the past, The years that are not more.
Matthew Arnold (1822-1888), British poet, critic. Growing Old (l. 16-20). . . Selected Poems and Prose [Matthew Arnold]. Allot, Miriam, ed. (1993) J.M. Dent.
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What is it to grow old? Is it to lose the glory of the form, The luster of the eye? Is it for beauty to forego her wreath? MYes, but not this alone.
Matthew Arnold (1822-1888), British poet, critic. Growing Old (l. 1-5). . . Selected Poems and Prose [Matthew Arnold]. Allot, Miriam, ed. (1993) J.M. Dent.
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Unquiet souls! MIn the dark fermentation of earth, In the never idle workshop of nature, In the eternal movement, Ye shall find yourselves again.
Matthew Arnold (1822-1888), British poet, critic. Haworth Churchyard.
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The uppermost idea with Hellenism is to see things as they really are; the uppermost ideas with Hebraism is conduct and obedience. Nothing can do away with this ineffaceable difference. The Greek quarrel with the body and its desires is, that they hinder right thinking; the Hebrew quarrel with them is, that they hinder right acting.
Matthew Arnold (1822-1888), British poet, critic. "Hebraism and Hellenism," Culture and Anarchy (1869).
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Culture, the acquainting ourselves with the best that has been known and said in the world, and thus with the history of the human spirit.
Matthew Arnold (1822-1888), British poet, critic. Literature and Dogma, preface (1873).
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The true meaning of religion is thus, not simply morality, but morality touched by emotion.
Matthew Arnold (1822-1888), British poet, critic. Literature and Dogma, ch. 1, sct. 2 (1873).
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Protestantism has the method of Jesus with His secret too much left out of mind; Catholicism has His secret with His method too much left out of mind; neither has His unerring balance, His intuition, His sweet reasonableness. But both have hold of a great truth, and get from it a great power.
Matthew Arnold (1822-1888), British poet, critic. Literature and Dogma, ch. 10 (1873).
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