Robert Penn Warren
Robert Penn Warren was an American poet, novelist, and literary critic and was one of the founders of New Criticism
New Criticism
New Criticism was a movement in literary theory that dominated American literary criticism in the middle decades of the 20th century. It emphasized close reading, particularly of poetry, to discover how a work of literature functioned as a self-contained, self-referential aesthetic...

. He was also a charter member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers
Fellowship of Southern Writers
The Fellowship of Southern Writers is a literary organization founded in 1987 in Chattanooga, Tennessee by 21 Southern writers and other literary luminaries...

. He founded the influential literary journal The Southern Review with Cleanth Brooks
Cleanth Brooks
Cleanth Brooks was an influential American literary critic and professor. He is best known for his contributions to New Criticism in the mid-twentieth century and for revolutionizing the teaching of poetry in American higher education...

 in 1935. He received the 1947 Pulitzer Prize for the Novel for his novel All the King's Men
All the King's Men
All the King's Men is a novel by Robert Penn Warren first published in 1946. Its title is drawn from the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty. In 1947 Warren won the Pulitzer Prize for All the King's Men....

(1946) and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
The Pulitzer Prize in Poetry has been presented since 1922 for a distinguished volume of original verse by an American author. However, special citations for poetry were presented in 1918 and 1919.-Winners:...

 in 1958 and 1979. He is the only person to have won Pulitzer Prizes for both fiction and poetry.
Warren was born in Guthrie, Kentucky
Guthrie, Kentucky
Guthrie is a city in Todd County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 1,469 at the 2000 census. The city is named for James Guthrie, president of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad when the city was incorporated in 1867.-Geography:...

, which is very near the Tennessee-Kentucky border, to Robert Warren and Anna Penn.

The poet is in the end probably more afraid of the dogmatist who wants to extract the message from the poem and throw the poem away than he is of the sentimentalist who says, "Oh, just let me enjoy the poem."

Lecture, "The Themes of Robert Frost" (1947)

For fire flames but in the heart of a colder fire. All voice is but echo caught from a sound-less voice. Height is not deprivation of valley, nor defect of desire. But defines, for the fortunate, that joy in which all joys should rejoice.

"To a Little Girl, One Year Old, in a Ruined Fortress" (1956)

The poem... is a little myth of man's capacity of making life meaningful. And in the end, the poem is not a thing we see — it is, rather, a light by which we may see — and what we see is life.

Saturday Review (22 March 1958)

Most writers are trying to find what they think or feel. . . not simply working from the given, but toward the given, saying the unsayable and steadily asking, "What do I really feel about this?"

National Observer (1967-02-06)

The urge to write poetry is like having an itch. When the itch becomes annoying enough, you scratch it.

The New York Times (1969-12-16)

Long ago, in Kentucky, I, a boy, stood By a dirt road, in first dark, and heard The great geese hoot northward. I could not see them, there being no moon And the stars sparse. I heard them.I did not know what was happening in my heart.

Audubon: A Vision (1969)