Robert Graves Quotes

There is no money in poetry, but then there is no poetry in money, either.

By the way, I heard an answer today to the platitude: ‘There’s no money in poetry.’ It was: ‘There’s no poetry in money, either.’

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.

If I thought that any poem of mine could have been written by anyone else, either a contemporary or a forerunner, I should suppress it with a blush; and I should do the same if I ever found I were imitating myself. Every poem should be new, unexpected, inimitable, and incapable of being parodied.

Good poets write poems that correspond with how they themselves talk; or, at least, how they would talk if they had the perfect gift of extemporary speech; they avoid inversions, oddities and rhetoric, and coin a striking phrase only when it is forced from them. If a poet, called upon to read his poems, chants […]

This honest wife, challenged at dusk At the garden gate, under a moon perhaps, In scent of honeysuckle, dared to deny Love to a urgent lover: with her lips only Not with her heart. It was no assignation; Taken aback, what could she say else? For the children’s sake, the lie was venial; ‘For the […]

I, Tiberius Claudius . . ., who was once, and not so long ago either, known to my friends and relatives and associates as “Claudius the Idiot,” or “that Claudius,”… or at best as “Poor Uncle Claudius,” am now about to write this strange history of my life; starting from my earliest childhood and continuing […]

We forget cruelty and past betrayal, Heedless of where the next bright bolt may fall.

I, Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus This-that-and-the-other (for I shall not trouble you yet with all my titles) who was once, and not so long ago either, known to my friends and relatives and associates as “Claudius the Idiot”, or “That Claudius”, or “Claudius the Stammerer”, or “Clau-Clau-Claudius” or at best as “Poor Uncle Claudius”, […]