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Lionel Trilling Quotes and Sayings

I hope you find great value in these Quotes by Lionel Trilling from my large collection of motivational and inspirational quotes and sayings.

The poet may be used as a barometer,
but let us not forget that he is also part of the weather.
- Lionel Trilling

Related topics: Poetry

Immature artists imitate.
Mature artists steal.
- Lionel Trilling

We who are liberal and progressive know that the poor
are our equals in every sense except that of being equal to us.
- Lionel Trilling

Where misunderstanding serves others as an advantage,
one is helpless to make oneself understood.
- Lionel Trilling

 

Youth is a time when we find the books we give up but do not get over.
- Lionel Trilling

We are all ill: but even a universal sickness implies an idea of health.
- Lionel Trilling

This is the great vice of academicism,
that it is concerned with ideas rather than with thinking.
- Lionel Trilling

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What marks the artist is his power to shape the material of pain we all have.
- Lionel Trilling

It is possible that the contemplation of cruelty will
not make us humane but cruel;
that the reiteration of the badness of our spiritual
condition will make us consent to it.
- Lionel Trilling

Probably it is impossible for humor to be ever a revolutionary weapon.
Candide can do little more than generate irony.
- Lionel Trilling

Being a Jew is like walking in the wind or swimming:
you are touched at all points and conscious everywhere.
- Lionel Trilling

We are at heart so profoundly anarchistic that the
only form of state we can imagine living in is Utopian;
and so cynical that the only Utopia we can believe in is authoritarian.
- Lionel Trilling

Our culture peculiarly honors the act of blaming,
which it takes as the sign of virtue and intellect.
- Lionel Trilling

It is now life and not art that requires the willing suspension of disbelief.
- Lionel Trilling

There is no connection between the political ideas
of our educated class and the deep places of the imagination.
- Lionel Trilling

The poet is in command of his fantasy,
while it is exactly the mark of the neurotic that he
is possessed by his fantasy.
- Lionel Trilling

The immature artist imitates.
Mature artists steal.
- Lionel Trilling

The function of literature, through all its mutations,
has been to make us aware of the particularity of selves,
and the high authority of the self in its quarrel with
its society and its culture.
Literature is in that sense subversive.
- Lionel Trilling

Every neurosis is a primitive form of legal proceeding
in which the accused carries on the prosecution,
imposes judgment and executes the sentence:
all to the end that someone else should not perform the same process.
- Lionel Trilling

I am the poet of my mind.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I am the poet of my mind.
I am the painter of my heart.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don't open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.
- Rumi (Persian poet 1207-1273)

Children and lunatics cut the Gordian knot which the
poet spends his life patiently trying to untie.
- Jean Cocteau

At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.
- Plato

A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.
- W. H. Auden

He who draws noble delights from sentiments of poetry is a true poet,
though he has never written a line in all his life.
- George Sand

Always be a poet, even in prose.
- Charles Baudelaire

Married or unmarried, young or old, poet or worker,
you are still a dreamer, and will one time know,
and feel, that your life is but a dream.
- Donald G. Mitchell

If you cannot be a poet, be the poem.
- David Carradine

Poetry is the revelation of a feeling that the poet
believes to be interior and personal which the reader recognizes as his own.
- Salvatore Quasimodo

A poet's work is to name the unnameable,
to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments,
shape the world, and stop it going to sleep.
- Salman Rushdie

To be a poet is a condition, not a profession.
- Robert Frost

A poet can survive everything but a misprint.
- Oscar Wilde

Each memorable verse of a true poet has two or three
times the written content.
- Alfred de Musset

The poet is one who is able to keep
the fresh vision of the child alive.
- Anais Nin

There'll always be working people in my poems because I grew up with them,
and I am a poet of memory.
- Philip Levine

As the poet said, 'Only God can make a tree,'
probably because it's so hard to figure out how to get the bark on.
- Woody Allen

A poet looks at the world the way a man looks at a woman.
- Wallace Stevens

God is the perfect poet.
- Robert Browning

The poet doesn't invent.
He listens.
- Jean Cocteau

A poet's autobiography is his poetry.
Anything else is just a footnote.
- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Whatever poet, orator or sage may say of it,
old age is still old age.
- Sinclair Lewis

A sculptor is a person who is interested in the shape of things,
a poet in words, a musician by sounds.
- Henry Moore

"Therefore" is a word the poet must not know.
- Andre Gide

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth.
- Jean Cocteau

Death most resembles a prophet who is without honor
in his own land or a poet who is a stranger among his people.
- Khalil Gibran

A true poet does not bother to be poetical.
Nor does a nursery gardener scent his roses.
- Jean Cocteau

A film is never really good unless the camera is an
eye in the head of a poet.
- Orson Welles

You don't have to suffer to be a poet;
adolescence is enough suffering for anyone.
- John Ciardi

I would love to be the poet laureate of Coney Island.
- Thornton Wilder

Why should the composer be more guilty than the poet
who warms to fantasy by a strange flame,
making an idea that inspires him the subject of his
own very different treatment?
- Franz Schubert

The poet does not know - often he will never know -
whom he really writes for.
- Eugenio Montale

In a manner of speaking, the poem is its own knower,
neither poet nor reader knowing anything that the poem
says apart from the words of the poem.
- Allen Tate

I was a boy when I first realized that the fullest
life liveable was a Poet's.
- Wilfred Owen

The business of the poet is not to find new emotions,
but to use the ordinary ones and, in working them up into poetry,
to express feelings which are not in actual emotions at all.
- T. S. Eliot

In order to master the unruly torrent of life the learned man meditates,
the poet quivers, and the political hero erects the fortress of his will.
- Jose Ortega y Gasset

In a way you can feel that the poet actually is looking over your shoulder,
and you say to yourself, now, how would this go for
him? Would this do or not?
- Robert Fitzgerald

No man was ever yet a great poet, without being at
the same time a profound philosopher.
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

I express myself in sculpture since I am not a poet.
- Aristide Maillol

A poet in history is divine, but a poet in the next room is a joke.
- Max Eastman

I have never considered myself a poet.
I have no interest in poetic artistry.
- Muhammad Iqbal

Poetry is not an expression of the party line.
It's that time of night, lying in bed,
thinking what you really think, making the private world public,
that's what the poet does.
- Allen Ginsberg

A great actor is independent of the poet,
because the supreme essence of feeling does not reside in prose or in verse,
but in the accent with which it is delivered.
- Lee Strasberg

It's the combination of the intimate and the public
that I find so exciting about being poet laureate.
- Rita Dove

The music is the shining path over which the poet travels
to bring his song to the world.
- Lotte Lehmann

There are distinct duties of a poet laureate.
I plan a reading series at the Library of Congress
and advise the librarian.
The rest is how I want to promote poetry.
- Rita Dove

No one ever was a great poet, that applied himself much to anything else.
- William Temple

The worst tragedy for a poet is to be admired through being misunderstood.
- Jean Cocteau

When the poet makes his perfect selection of a word,
he is endowing the word with life.
- John Drinkwater

Anybody in the next centuries wanting to know what
it was like to be a poet in the middle of the 20th
century should read Kaddish.
- Leslie Fiedler

If a poet is anybody, he is somebody to whom things
made matter very little -
somebody who is obsessed by Making.
- e. e. cummings


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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

 


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