„A poet can only write about what is true to his own experience, not about what he would like to be true to his experience.“

Foreword
The Still Centre (1939)
Context: A poet can only write about what is true to his own experience, not about what he would like to be true to his experience.
Poetry does not state truth, it states the conditions within which something felt is true. Even while he is writing about the little portion of reality which is part of his experience, the poet may be conscious of a different reality outside. His problem is to relate the small truth to the sense of a wider, perhaps theoretically known, truth outside his experience.

Adopted from Wikiquote. Last update Nov. 25, 2021. History
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Stephen Spender76
English poet and man of letters 1909 - 1995

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„The highest knowledge man can possess is that which is true in his own experience. If his experience is limited, so is his knowledge and he behaves accordingly.“

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Context: You think: you become that thought. And consciousness, or the state of pure awareness, is lost. The highest knowledge man can possess is that which is true in his own experience. If his experience is limited, so is his knowledge and he behaves accordingly.

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„I do not think writers ought ever to sit down and think they must write about some cause, or theme… If they write about their own experiences, something true is going to emerge.“

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„But experience has shown that to be true which Appius says in his verses, that every man is the architect of his own fortune.“

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Original: (la) Sed res docuit id verum esse, quod in carminibus Appius ait, fabrum esse suae quemque fortunae.

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„But experience has shown that to be true which Appius says in his verses, that every man is the architect of his own fortune.“

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„The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed.“

—  Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955

Variant translations: The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. He who knows it not and can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle. It was the experience of mystery — even if mixed with fear — that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which are only accessible to our reason in their most elementary forms — it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man.
The finest emotion of which we are capable is the mystic emotion. Herein lies the germ of all art and all true science. Anyone to whom this feeling is alien, who is no longer capable of wonderment and lives in a state of fear is a dead man. To know that what is impenetrable for us really exists and manifests itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, whose gross forms alone are intelligible to our poor faculties — this knowledge, this feeling … that is the core of the true religious sentiment. In this sense, and in this sense alone, I rank myself among profoundly religious men.
As quoted in After Einstein : Proceedings of the Einstein Centennial Celebration (1981) by Peter Barker and Cecil G. Shugart, p. 179
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.
As quoted in Introduction to Philosophy (1935) by George Thomas White Patrick and Frank Miller Chapman, p. 44
The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly: this is religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I am a devoutly religious man."
He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.
1930s, Mein Weltbild (My World-view) (1931)
Context: The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. It was the experience of mystery — even if mixed with fear — that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds: it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity. In this sense, and only this sense, I am a deeply religious man.

Matthew Arnold photo

„The poet's matter being the hitherto experience of the world, and his own, increases with every century.“

—  Matthew Arnold English poet and cultural critic who worked as an inspector of schools 1822 - 1888

Letter to Arthur Hugh Clough (December 1847/early 1848)
Context: Had Shakespeare and Milton lived in the atmosphere of modern feeling, had they had the multitude of new thoughts and feelings to deal with a modern has, I think it likely the style of each would have been far less curious and exquisite. For in a man style is the saying in the best way what you have to say. The what you have to say depends on your age. In the 17th century it was a smaller harvest than now, and sooner to be reaped; and therefore to its reaper was left time to stow it more finely and curiously. Still more was this the case in the ancient world. The poet's matter being the hitherto experience of the world, and his own, increases with every century.

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