Laura Riding

(January 16, 1901 – September 2, 1991 / New York City)

Laura Riding
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an American poet, critic, novelist, essayist and short story writer.

Early Life

She was born Laura Reichenthal in New York to a family of Austrian Jewish immigrants, and educated at Cornell University, where she began to write poetry, publishing first (1923–26) under the name Laura Riding Gottschalk. She became associated with the Fugitives through Allen Tate, and they published her poems in The Fugitive magazine. Her first marriage, to historian Louis R. Gottschalk (1899–1975), ended in divorce in 1925, at the end of which year she went to England at the invitation of Robert Graves and his wife Nancy Nicholson. She would remain in Europe for nearly 14 ... more »

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  • ''There can be no literary equivalent to truth.''
    Laura Riding (1901-1991), U.S. poet. Extracts from Communications.
  • ''Art, whose honesty must work through artifice, cannot avoid cheating truth.''
    Laura Riding (1901-1991), U.S. poet. Selected Poems: In Five Sets, preface (1975).
  • ''To a poet the mere making of a poem can seem to solve the problem of truth ... but only a problem of art is solved in poetry.''
    Laura Riding (1901-1991), U.S. poet. Selected Poems: In Five Sets, preface (1975).
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Best Poem of Laura Riding

Yes And No

Across a continent imaginary
Because it cannot be discovered now
Upon this fully apprehended planet—
No more applicants considered,
Alas, alas—

Ran an animal unzoological,
Without a fate, without a fact,
Its private history intact
Against the travesty
Of an anatomy.

Not visible not invisible,
Removed by dayless night,
Did it ever fly its ground
Out of fancy into light,
Into space to replace
Its unwritable decease?

Ah, the minutes twinkle in and out
And in and out come and go
One by one, none by none,
What we know,...

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