Monday, July 25


The present remarkable public demand for poetry keeps pace with the growing affluence of life throughout the Western world and the gradual shrinking of the work week. Never before have such efforts been made to satisfy the demand, yet never have there been fewer original poets. "This is a critical, not a poetic age." I am told. "Inspiration is out. Contemporary poems must reflect the prevailing analytic spirit." But I am old-fashioned enough to demand bâraka*, an inspirational gift not yet extinct, which defies critical analysis.

-- Robert Graves, b. 24 July 1895 Oxford Addresses on Poetry (1962)

*bâraka: (Arabic) to bless