Robert Duncan

(January 7, 1919 – February 3, 1988)

Quotations

  • ''Often I am permitted to return to a meadow
    as if it were a given property of the mind
    that certain bounds hold against chaos,

    that is a place of first permission,
    everlasting omen of what is.''
    Robert Duncan (b. 1919), U.S. poet. Often I Am Permitted to Return to a Meadow (l. 19-23). . . New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richard Ellmann, ed. (1976) Oxford University Press.
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  • ''The world like Great Sodom lies under Love
    and knows not the hand of the Lord that moves.''
    Robert Duncan (b. 1919), U.S. poet. This Place Rumor'd to Have Been Sodom (l. 29-30). . . New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richard Ellmann, ed. (1976) Oxford University Press.
  • ''This was once
    a city among men, a gathering together of spirit.
    It was measured by the Lord and found wanting.''
    Robert Duncan (b. 1919), U.S. poet. This Place Rumor'd to Have Been Sodom (l. 5-7). . . New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richard Ellmann, ed. (1976) Oxford University Press.
  • ''The devout have laid out gardens in the desert.''
    Robert Duncan (b. 1919), U.S. poet. This Place Rumor'd to Have Been Sodom (l. 17). . . New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richard Ellmann, ed. (1976) Oxford University Press.

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Poetry, A Natural Thing

Neither our vices nor our virtues
further the poem. “They came up
and died
just like they do every year
on the rocks.”

The poem
feeds upon thought, feeling, impulse,
to breed itself,

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