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Matthew Arnold

Date de naissance: 24. décembre 1822
Date de décès: 15. avril 1888

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Matthew Arnold est un poète et critique anglais.

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Citations Matthew Arnold

„Silent — the best are silent now.“

—  Matthew Arnold
Context: But — if you cannot give us ease — Last of the race of them who grieve Here leave us to die out with these Last of the people who believe! Silent, while years engrave the brow; Silent — the best are silent now. Achilles ponders in his tent, The kings of modern thought are dumb, Silent they are though not content, And wait to see the future come. They have the grief men had of yore, But they contend and cry no more.

„Ah! do not we, wanderer! await it too?“

—  Matthew Arnold
Context: Thou waitest for the spark from heaven! and we, Light half-believers of our casual creeds, Who never deeply felt, nor clearly will’d, Whose insight never has borne fruit in deeds, Whose vague resolves never have been fulfill’d; For whom each year we see Breeds new beginnings, disappointments new; Who hesitate and falter life away, And lose to-morrow the ground won to-day— Ah! do not we, wanderer! await it too? St. 18

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„Forgive me, masters of the mind!
At whose behest I long ago
So much unlearnt, so much resign'd —
I come not here to be your foe!“

—  Matthew Arnold
Context: Forgive me, masters of the mind! At whose behest I long ago So much unlearnt, so much resign'd — I come not here to be your foe! I seek these anchorites, not in ruth, To curse and to deny your truth; Not as their friend, or child, I speak! But as, on some far northern strand, Thinking of his own Gods, a Greek In pity and mournful awe might stand Before some fallen Runic stone — For both were faiths, and both are gone.

„Now the wild white horses play,
Champ and chafe and toss in the spray.“

—  Matthew Arnold
Context: Come, dear children, let us away; Down and away below. Now my brothers call from the bay; Now the great winds shoreward blow; Now the salt tides seaward flow; Now the wild white horses play, Champ and chafe and toss in the spray. Children dear, let us away. This way, this way! St. 1

„Not till the hours of light return
All we have built do we discern.“

—  Matthew Arnold
Context: With aching hands and bleeding feet We dig and heap, lay stone on stone; We bear the burden and the heat Of the long day and wish’t were done. Not till the hours of light return All we have built do we discern. "Morality" (1852), lines 7-12

„Culture looks beyond machinery, culture hates hatred; culture has one great passion, the passion for sweetness and light.“

—  Matthew Arnold
Context: The pursuit of perfection, then, is the pursuit of sweetness and light. He who works for sweetness and light, works to make reason and the will of God prevail. He who works for machinery, he who works for hatred, works only for confusion. Culture looks beyond machinery, culture hates hatred; culture has one great passion, the passion for sweetness and light. Ch. I, Sweetness and Light

„We cannot kindle when we will
The fire that in the heart resides“

—  Matthew Arnold
Context: We cannot kindle when we will The fire that in the heart resides, The spirit bloweth and is still, In mystery our soul abides; — But tasks, in hours of insight willed, Can be through hours of gloom fulfilled. "Morality" (1852), st. 1

„The heart less bounding at emotion new,
And hope, once crush’d, less quick to spring again.“

—  Matthew Arnold
Context: Yes, thou art gone! and round me too the night In ever-nearing circle weaves her shade. I see her veil draw soft across the day, I feel her slowly chilling breath invade The cheek grown thin, the brown hair sprent with grey; I feel her finger light Laid pausefully upon life’s headlong train; — The foot less prompt to meet the morning dew, The heart less bounding at emotion new, And hope, once crush’d, less quick to spring again. St. 14

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„We, in some unknown Power's employ,
Move on a rigorous line“

—  Matthew Arnold
Context: We, in some unknown Power's employ, Move on a rigorous line; Can neither, when we will, enjoy, Nor, when we will, resign. "Stanzas in Memory of the Author of "Obermann"" (1852), st. 34

„It is not in my nature, some of my critics would rather say, not in my power, to dispute on behalf of any opinion, even my own, very obstinately.“

—  Matthew Arnold
Context: It is not in my nature, some of my critics would rather say, not in my power, to dispute on behalf of any opinion, even my own, very obstinately. To try and approach truth on one side after another, not to strive or cry, nor to persist in pressing forward, on any one side, with violence and self-will, — it is only thus, it seems to me, that mortals may hope to gain any vision of the mysterious Goddess, whom we shall never see except in outline, but only thus even in outline. He who will do nothing but fight impetuously towards her on his own, one, favourite, particular line, is inevitably destined to run his head into the folds of the black robe in which she is wrapped. Preface to the Second Edition (1869)

„For poetry the idea is everything; the rest is a world of illusion, of divine illusion.“

—  Matthew Arnold
Context: For poetry the idea is everything; the rest is a world of illusion, of divine illusion. Poetry attaches its emotion to the idea; the idea is the fact. The strongest part of our religion today is its unconscious poetry. Introduction to Ward's English Poets (1880)

„The what you have to say depends on your age.“

—  Matthew Arnold
Context: Had Shakespeare and Milton lived in the atmosphere of modern feeling, had they had the multitude of new thoughts and feelings to deal with a modern has, I think it likely the style of each would have been far less curious and exquisite. For in a man style is the saying in the best way what you have to say. The what you have to say depends on your age. In the 17th century it was a smaller harvest than now, and sooner to be reaped; and therefore to its reaper was left time to stow it more finely and curiously. Still more was this the case in the ancient world. The poet's matter being the hitherto experience of the world, and his own, increases with every century. Letter to Arthur Hugh Clough (December 1847/early 1848)

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„Alas! is even love too weak
To unlock the heart, and let it speak?“

—  Matthew Arnold
Context: Alas! is even love too weak To unlock the heart, and let it speak? Are even lovers powerless to reveal To one another what indeed they feel? I knew the mass of men conceal'd Their thoughts, for fear that if reveal'd They would by other men be met With blank indifference, or with blame reproved; I knew they lived and moved Trick'd in disguises, alien to the rest Of men, and alien to themselves — and yet The same heart beats in every human breast! " The Buried Life http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/arnold/writings/buriedlife.html" (1852), st. 2

„It is important, therefore, to hold fast to this: that poetry is at bottom a criticism of life; that the greatness of a poet lies in his powerful and beautiful application of ideas to life — to the question, How to live.“

—  Matthew Arnold
Context: If what distinguishes the greatest poets is their powerful and profound application of ideas to life, which surely no good critic will deny, then to prefix to the word ideas here the term moral makes hardly any difference, because human life itself is in so preponderating a degree moral. It is important, therefore, to hold fast to this: that poetry is at bottom a criticism of life; that the greatness of a poet lies in his powerful and beautiful application of ideas to life — to the question, How to live. Morals are often treated in a narrow and false fashion, they are bound up with systems of thought and belief which have had their day, they are fallen into the hands of pedants and professional dealers, they grow tiresome to some of us. We find attraction, at times, even in a poetry of revolt against them; in a poetry which might take for its motto Omar Khayam's words: "Let us make up in the tavern for the time which we have wasted in the mosque." Or we find attractions in a poetry indifferent to them, in a poetry where the contents may be what they will, but where the form is studied and exquisite. We delude ourselves in either case; and the best cure for our delusion is to let our minds rest upon that great and inexhaustible word life, until we learn to enter into its meaning. A poetry of revolt against moral ideas is a poetry of revolt against life; a poetry of indifference towards moral ideas is a poetry of indifference towards life. Wordsworth, originally published as "Preface to the Poems of Wordsworth" in Macmillan's Magazine (July 1879)

„Ah, love, let us be true
To one another!“

—  Matthew Arnold
Context: Ah, love, let us be true To one another! for the world, which seems To lie before us like a land of dreams, So various, so beautiful, so new, Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light, Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain; And we are here as on a darkling plain Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, Where ignorant armies clash by night. St. 4

„I knew they lived and moved
Trick'd in disguises, alien to the rest
Of men, and alien to themselves — and yet
The same heart beats in every human breast!“

—  Matthew Arnold
Context: Alas! is even love too weak To unlock the heart, and let it speak? Are even lovers powerless to reveal To one another what indeed they feel? I knew the mass of men conceal'd Their thoughts, for fear that if reveal'd They would by other men be met With blank indifference, or with blame reproved; I knew they lived and moved Trick'd in disguises, alien to the rest Of men, and alien to themselves — and yet The same heart beats in every human breast! " The Buried Life http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/arnold/writings/buriedlife.html" (1852), st. 2

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