Babette Deutsch

(1895 - 1982)

Babette Deutsch
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Babette Deutsch (September 22, 1895 – November 13, 1982) was an American poet, critic, translator, and novelist.

Born in New York City, the daughter of Michael and Melanie (Fisher) Deutsch, she matriculated from the Ethical Culture School and Barnard College, graduating in 1917 with a B.A. She published poems in magazines such as the North American Review and the New Republic while she was still a student at Barnard.

In 1946, she received an honorary D. Litt. from Columbia University. On April 29, 1921, Deutsch married Avrahm Yarmolinsky, chief of the Slavonic Division of The New York Public Library (1918–1955), also a writer and translator. They had two sons, Adam ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''Music proposes. Sound disposes.''
    Babette Deutsch (1895-1982), U.S. poet. "Electronic Concert," line 1 (1969).
  • ''The poet ... like the lover ... is a person unable to reconcile what he knows with what he feels. His peculiarity is that he is under a certain compulsion to do so.''
    Babette Deutsch (1895-1982), U.S. poet, critic. "Poetry at the Mid-Century," The Writers Book, ed. Helen Hull (1950).
  • ''Poetry is important. No less than science, it seeks a hold upon reality, and the closeness of its approach is the test of its success.''
    Babette Deutsch (1895-1982), U.S. poet. This Modern Poetry, Foreword (1935).
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Best Poem of Babette Deutsch

Megalosaurus

A MONSTER like a mountain, leathern limbed,
With eyes of sluggish ore and claws of stone,
He heaved his thunder-throated body, rimmed
By marsh fires human eyes have never known.
A monolith carved out of savage night,
He hid in his impenetrable hide
Muscle and blood, and nerves to sense delight
And agony that tore him when he died.

The clumsy terror of his frame has gone
The way of his blind, simple savagery.
Out of his casual bones men build the dawn
That bore and bred such brutish ...

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