Arthur Symons

British poet (1865-1945)

Arthur William Symons (February 28, 1865January 22, 1945) was a British poet and critic.

Arthur Symons in 1906

Quotes edit

  • All art is a form of artifice.For in art there can be no prejudices.
    • Preface to Silhouettes kindle ebook 2012 ASIN B0082UH208.
  • And I would have, now love is over,
    An end to all, an end:
    I cannot, having been your lover,
    Stoop to become your friend!
    • After Love, st. 3 (1892).
  • The gray-green stretch of sandy grass,
    Indefinitely desolate;
    A sea of lead, a sky of slate;
    Already autumn in the air, alas!
    One stark monotony of stone,
    The long hotel, acutely white,
    Against the after-sunset light
    Withers gray-green, and takes the grass's tone.
    • Color Studies. At Dieppe (1895).
  • My soul is like this cloudy, flaming opal ring.
    • Opals (1896).
  • Here in a little lonely room
    I am master of earth and sea,
    And the planets come to me.
    • The Loom of Dreams, st. 1 (1900).
  • Criticism is properly the rod of divination: a hazel switch for the discovery of buried treasure, not a birch twig for the castigation of offenders.
    • An Introduction to the Study of Browning, preface (1906).
  • What we ask of him is, that he should find out for us more than we can find out for ourselves.... He must have the passion of a lover.
    • Biographia Literaria, introduction (1906).
  • I have loved colours, and not flowers;
    Their motion, not the swallows wings;
    And wasted more than half my hours
    Without the comradeship of things.
    • Amends to Nature, st. 1.
  • I heard the sighing of the reeds
    At noontide and at evening,
    And some old dream I had forgotten
    I seemed to be remembering.
    • By the Pool of the Third Rosses, st. 4.
  • They weave a slow andante as in sleep,
    Scaled yellow, swampy black, plague-spotted white;
    With blue and lidless eyes at watch they keep
    A treachery of silence; infinite.
    • The Andante of Snakes, st. 1.
  • The gipsy tents are on the down,
    The gipsy girls are here;
    And it's O to be off and away from the town
    With a gipsy for my dear!
    • Gipsy Love, st. 1.
  • My life is like a music-hall,
    Where, in the impotence of rage,
    Chained by enchantment to my stall,
    I see myself upon the stage
    Dance to amuse a music-hall.
    • In The Stalls , st. 1.
  • Emmy's exquisite youth and her virginal air,
    Eyes and teeth in the flash of a musical smile,
    Come to me out of the past, and I see her there
    As I saw her once for a while.
    • Emmy, st. 1.
  • O my child, who wronged you first, and began
    First the dance of death that you dance so well?
    Soul for soul: and I think the soul of a man
    Shall answer for yours in hell.
    • Emmy, st. 6.
  • The wind is rising on the sea,
    The windy white foam-dancers leap;
    And the sea moans uneasily,
    And turns to sleep, and cannot sleep.
    • Before the Squall, st. 1.
  • I have laid sorrow to sleep;
    Love sleeps.
    She who oft made me weep
    Now weeps.
    • Love and Sleep, st. 1.
  • They pass upon their old, tremulous feet,
    Creeping with little satchels down the street,
    And they remember, many years ago,
    Passing that way in silks. They wander, slow
    And solitary, through the city ways,
    And they alone remember those old days
    Men have forgotten.
    • The Old Women, st. 1.
  • Sweet, can I sing you the song of your kisses?
    How soft is this one, how subtle this is,
    How fluttering swift as a bird's kiss that is,
    As a bird that taps at a leafy lattice;
    How this one clings and how that uncloses
    From bud to flower in the way of roses.
    • Kisses.

The Symbolist Movement in Literature (1899) edit

  • He knew that the whole mystery of beauty can never be comprehended by the crowd, and that while clearness is a virtue of style, perfect explicitness is not a necessary virtue.
    • Gérard de Nerval.
  • Without charm there can be no fine literature, as there can be no perfect flower without fragrance.
    • Stéphane Mallarmé.
  • The mystic too full of God to speak intelligibly to the world.
    • Arthur Rimbaud.

External links edit

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