Robert Browning citations

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Robert Browning

Date de naissance: 7. mai 1812
Date de décès: 12. décembre 1889

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Robert Browning, né à Camberwell, Surrey, le 7 mai 1812 et mort à Venise le 12 décembre 1889, est un poète et dramaturge britannique, reconnu comme l'un des deux plus grands créateurs poétiques de l'Angleterre victorienne, l'égal, quoique dans un style tout différent, de Tennyson.

Il passe son enfance et sa jeunesse dans une famille éprise des lettres et des arts. L'accès illimité à des ouvrages de haut niveau et sa grande curiosité intellectuelle lui permettent d'acquérir un immense savoir et de cultiver son goût pour la poésie. Comme il ne supporte pas d'être scolarisé, ses tentatives d'études secondaires puis supérieures laissent vite place à un parcours intellectuel éclectique.

Toutes ses œuvres sont ambitieuses, souvent longues et écrites en une langue parfois difficile. Le public, comme la critique, sont, à l'occasion, déroutés par son originalité, qui se manifeste aussi dans sa vie personnelle. Ébloui par la lecture de poèmes publiés par Elizabeth Barrett, cloîtrée en sa chambre, il lui écrit pour lui dire son admiration. Ainsi commence une correspondance amoureuse qui se termine en 1846 par un enlèvement, un mariage et une fuite en Italie où le couple voyage et publie pendant quinze ans jusqu'à la mort d'Elizabeth en 1861. À son retour en Angleterre, Browning retrouve les cercles littéraires et les clubs où se réunit l'intelligentsia londonienne.

Ses œuvres les plus importantes sont les recueils Dramatic Lyrics, Dramatic Romances and Lyrics, Men and Women, selon Margaret Drabble, le chef-d'œuvre de sa maturité , et Dramatis Personae, et le poème narratif The Ring and the Book. Robert Browning y utilise la technique du monologue dramatique, adressé à un auditeur silencieux mais non inerte. La personnalité du locuteur se creuse peu à peu par son seul discours. Sa prise de parole fait apparaître une situation, parvenue à un état de crise présente ou passée, et un ou plusieurs protagonistes, leurs conflits et la résolution, souvent dramatique ou tragique.

Au cours de ses dernières années, Browning publie quinze nouveaux volumes, souvent très longs, quelquefois polémiques, et voyage en France et en Italie où réside son fils, critique, sculpteur et peintre, chez qui il meurt à Venise en 1889. Il repose aux côtés d'Alfred, Lord Tennyson dans le Coin des poètes de l'abbaye de Westminster.

Robert Browning tient une place à part dans la littérature victorienne, essentiellement parce qu'il a privilégié l'oralité, non pas de manière euphonique comme Tennyson, mais en restituant le grain de la voix et créant, « entre les différentes voix qui résonnent, un réseau signifiant ». Cette originalité marque et inspire la poésie de certains de ses jeunes contemporains et successeurs, en particulier Ezra Pound et T. S. Eliot.

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Citations Robert Browning

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„Who hears music feels his solitude
Peopled at once.“

— Robert Browning, The complete poetical works of Browning
Balaustion's Adventure, line 323 (1871).

„I do what many dream of, all their lives, — Dream? strive to do, and agonize to do, And fail in doing.“

— Robert Browning
Context: I do what many dream of, all their lives, — Dream? strive to do, and agonize to do, And fail in doing. I could count twenty such On twice your fingers, and not leave this town, Who strive — you don't know how the others strive To paint a little thing like that you smeared Carelessly passing with your robes afloat — Yet do much less, so much less, Someone says, (I know his name, no matter) — so much less! Well, less is more, Lucrezia: I am judged. There burns a truer light of God in them, In their vexed beating stuffed and stopped-up brain, Heart, or whate'er else, than goes on to prompt This low-pulsed forthright craftsman's hand of mine. "Andrea del Sarto", line 70 "Less is more" is often misattributed to architects Buckminster Fuller or Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. It is something of a motto for minimalist philosophy. It was used in 1774 by Christoph Martin Wieland.

„Fear had long since taken rootIn every breast, and now these crushed its fruit,The ripe hate, like a wine“

— Robert Browning
Context: But, gathering in its ancient market-place, Talked group with restless group; and not a face But wrath made livid, for among them were Death's staunch purveyors, such as have in care To feast him. Fear had long since taken root In every breast, and now these crushed its fruit, The ripe hate, like a wine: to note the way It worked while each grew drunk! men grave and grey Stood, with shut eyelids, rocking to and fro. Letting the silent luxury trickle slow About the hollows where a heart should be; But the young gulped with a delirious glee Some foretaste of their first debauch in blood At the fierce news Book the First

„Was I, the world arraigned,
Were they, my soul disdained,
Right? Let age speak the truth and give us peace at last!“

— Robert Browning
Context: Be there, for once and all, Severed great minds from small, Announced to each his station in the Past! Was I, the world arraigned, Were they, my soul disdained, Right? Let age speak the truth and give us peace at last! Now, who shall arbitrate? Ten men love what I hate, Shun what I follow, slight what I receive; Ten, who in ears and eyes Match me: we all surmise, They this thing, I that: whom shall my soul believe? Line 121.

„My times be in thy hand!
Perfect the cup as planned!“

— Robert Browning
Context: So, take, and use thy work: Amend what flaws may lurk, What strain o' the stuff, what warpings past the aim! My times be in thy hand! Perfect the cup as planned! Let age approve of youth, and death complete the same! Line 187.

„Rather I prize the doubt
Low kinds exist without,
Finished and finite clods, untroubled by a spark.“

— Robert Browning
Context: Mine be some figured flame which blends, transcends them all! Not for such hopes and fears Annulling youth's brief years, Do I remonstrate: folly wide the mark! Rather I prize the doubt Low kinds exist without, Finished and finite clods, untroubled by a spark. Poor vaunt of life indeed, Were man but formed to feed On joy, to solely seek and find and feast; Such feasting ended, then As sure an end to men. Line 12.

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„Have you found your life distasteful?
My life did and does smack sweet.“

— Robert Browning
Context: Have you found your life distasteful? My life did and does smack sweet. Was your youth of pleasure wasteful? Mine I save and hold complete. Do your joys with age diminish? When mine fail me, I'll complain. Must in death your daylight finish? My sun sets to rise again. "At the 'Mermaid'"(1876) <!-- line 72 - 80 -->

„God's in His heaven—
All's right with the world!“

— Robert Browning
Context: The year's at the spring, And day's at the morn; Morning's at seven; The hill-side's dew-pearl'd; The lark's on the wing; The snail's on the thorn; God's in His heaven— All's right with the world! Part I, line 221.

„Each a God's germ, but doomed remain a germIn unexpanded infancy“

— Robert Browning
Context: Each a God's germ, but doomed remain a germ In unexpanded infancy Book the Third

„He gathers earth's whole good into his arms;
Standing, as man now, stately, strong and wise,
Marching to fortune, not surprised by her.“

— Robert Browning
Context: p>He gathers earth's whole good into his arms; Standing, as man now, stately, strong and wise, Marching to fortune, not surprised by her. One great aim, like a guiding-star, above— Which tasks strength, wisdom, stateliness, to lift His manhood to the height that takes the prize; A prize not near — lest overlooking earth He rashly spring to seize it — nor remote, So that he rest upon his path content: But day by day, while shimmering grows shine, And the faint circlet prophesies the orb, He sees so much as, just evolving these, The stateliness, the wisdom and the strength, To due completion, will suffice this life, And lead him at his grandest to the grave. After this star, out of a night he springs; A beggar's cradle for the throne of thrones He quits; so, mounting, feels each step he mounts, Nor, as from each to each exultingly He passes, overleaps one grade of joy. This, for his own good: — with the world, each gift Of God and man, — reality, tradition, Fancy and fact — so well environ him, That as a mystic panoply they serve — Of force, untenanted, to awe mankind, And work his purpose out with half the world, While he, their master, dexterously slipt From such encumbrance, is meantime employed With his own prowess on the other half. Thus shall he prosper, every day's success Adding, to what is he, a solid strength — An aery might to what encircles him, Till at the last, so life's routine lends help, That as the Emperor only breathes and moves, His shadow shall be watched, his step or stalk Become a comfort or a portent, how He trails his ermine take significance, — Till even his power shall cease to be most power, And men shall dread his weakness more, nor dare Peril their earth its bravest, first and best, Its typified invincibility.Thus shall he go on, greatening, till he ends— The man of men, the spirit of all flesh, The fiery centre of an earthly world!</p Valence of Prince Berthold, in Act IV.

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„On our Pompilia, faultless to a fault,
Law bends a brow maternally severe,
Implies the worth of perfect chastity,
By fancying the flaw she cannot find.“

— Robert Browning
Context: Forgive me this digression — that I stand Entranced awhile at Law's first beam, outbreak O' the business, when the Count's good angel bade "Put up thy sword, born enemy to the ear, "And let Law listen to thy difference!" And Law does listen and compose the strife, Settle the suit, how wisely and how well! On our Pompilia, faultless to a fault, Law bends a brow maternally severe, Implies the worth of perfect chastity, By fancying the flaw she cannot find. Book IX : Juris Doctor Johannes-Baptista Bottinius, Fisci et Rev. Cam. Apostol. Advocatus.

„Thus shall he go on, greatening, till he ends—
The man of men, the spirit of all flesh,
The fiery centre of an earthly world!“

— Robert Browning
Context: p>He gathers earth's whole good into his arms; Standing, as man now, stately, strong and wise, Marching to fortune, not surprised by her. One great aim, like a guiding-star, above— Which tasks strength, wisdom, stateliness, to lift His manhood to the height that takes the prize; A prize not near — lest overlooking earth He rashly spring to seize it — nor remote, So that he rest upon his path content: But day by day, while shimmering grows shine, And the faint circlet prophesies the orb, He sees so much as, just evolving these, The stateliness, the wisdom and the strength, To due completion, will suffice this life, And lead him at his grandest to the grave. After this star, out of a night he springs; A beggar's cradle for the throne of thrones He quits; so, mounting, feels each step he mounts, Nor, as from each to each exultingly He passes, overleaps one grade of joy. This, for his own good: — with the world, each gift Of God and man, — reality, tradition, Fancy and fact — so well environ him, That as a mystic panoply they serve — Of force, untenanted, to awe mankind, And work his purpose out with half the world, While he, their master, dexterously slipt From such encumbrance, is meantime employed With his own prowess on the other half. Thus shall he prosper, every day's success Adding, to what is he, a solid strength — An aery might to what encircles him, Till at the last, so life's routine lends help, That as the Emperor only breathes and moves, His shadow shall be watched, his step or stalk Become a comfort or a portent, how He trails his ermine take significance, — Till even his power shall cease to be most power, And men shall dread his weakness more, nor dare Peril their earth its bravest, first and best, Its typified invincibility.Thus shall he go on, greatening, till he ends— The man of men, the spirit of all flesh, The fiery centre of an earthly world!</p Valence of Prince Berthold, in Act IV.

„Gold as it was, is, shall be evermore:
Prime nature with an added artistry —
No carat lost, and you have gained a ring.“

— Robert Browning
Context: Gold as it was, is, shall be evermore: Prime nature with an added artistry — No carat lost, and you have gained a ring. What of it? 'T is a figure, a symbol, say; A thing's sign: now for the thing signified. Book I : The Ring and the Book.

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