, his memoir of his early life, including his role in the First World War
, Goodbye to All That
, and his historical study of poetic inspiration, The White Goddess
—have never been out of print.
He earned his living from writing, particularly popular historical novels such as I, Claudius
, King Jesus
, The Golden Fleece, and Count Belisarius
To be a poet is a condition rather than a profession.
I believe that every English poet should read the English classics, master the rules of grammar before he attempts to bend or break them, travel abroad, experience the horror of sordid passion and — if he is lucky enough — know the love of an honest woman.
Anthropologists are a connecting link between poets and scientists; though their field-work among primitive peoples has often made them forget the language of science.
The remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that he is really very good — in spite of all the people who say he is very good.
A perfect poem is impossible. Once it had been written, the world would end.
Trench stinks of shallow buried deadWhere Tom stands at the periscope,Tired out. After nine months he’s shedAll fear, all faith, all hate, all hope.
Christ of His gentlenessThirsting and hungering,Walked in the wilderness;Soft words of grace He spokeUnto lost desert-folkThat listened wondering.
His eyes are quickened so with grief,He can watch a grass or leafEvery instant grow; he canClearly through a flint wall see,Or watch the startled spirit fleeFrom the throat of a dead man.