There is a certain majesty in simplicity which is far above all the quaintness of wit.
Life is not an easy matter… You cannot live through it without falling into frustration and cynicism unless you have before you a great idea which raises you above personal misery, above weakness, above all kinds of perfidy and baseness.
I see myself as, first and above all, a teacher of history; next, a writer of European history; next, a commentator on European affairs; next, a public intellectual voice within the American left; and only then an occasional, opportunistic participant in the pained American discussion of the Jewish matter.
But Wordsworth is the poet I admire above all others.
Some prideful people are not so concerned as to whether their wages meet their needs as they are that their wages are more than someone else’s. Their reward is being a cut above the rest. This is the enmity of pride.
At 30 a man should know himself like the palm of his hand, know the exact number of his defects and qualities, know how far he can go, foretell his failures – be what he is. And, above all, accept these things.
Mediocrity is now, as formerly, dangerous, commonly fatal, to the poet; but among even the successful writers of prose, those who rise sensibly above it are the very rarest exceptions.
If people connect me with the Romantics in general, they probably connect me most with Keats. But Wordsworth is the poet I admire above all others.
It does not follow that the meaning must be given from above; that life and suffering must come neatly labeled; that nothing is worth while if the world is not governed by a purpose.
Rise above sectional interests and private ambitions… Pass from matter to spirit. Matter is diversity; spirit is light, life and unity.