Kenneth Rexroth

Literary Birthday – 22 December – Kenneth Rexroth


Kenneth Rexroth was born 22 December 1905, and died 6 June 1982

Kenneth Rexroth Quotes

  1. I write for one and only one purpose, to overcome the invincible ignorance of the traduced heart.
  2. Harvey, Galileo, Copernicus do not seem occult to us, but they did so to their contemporaries, hierophants of the mysteries of Natural Law, revealers of the secrets of a New Order of the Ages. After all, the movement eventually came to be called the Age of Enlightenment.
  3. What I try with my own stuff is to work the poem to a slow climax through a series of quiet painful dissonances.
  4. The mature man lives quietly, does good privately, takes responsibility for his actions, treats others with friendliness and courtesy, finds mischief boring and avoids it. Without the hidden conspiracy of goodwill, society would not endure an hour.
  5. Against the ruin of the world, there is only one defence—the creative act.
  6. Any talented decadent can make unreality believable. To make reality convincing is another matter, a matter for only the greatest masters.
  7. In America we have nothing that takes the place of the gods and goddesses and heroes and demigods of the ancient world. There is nothing to connect us with the soil. We have no mythology. It has never been possible to construct one.
  8. The basic line in any good verse is cadenced… building it around the natural breath structures of speech.
  9. It takes great labour to uncover the convincing simple speech of the heart. Poetic candour comes with hard labour, so even does impetuosity and impudence.
  10. I’ve had it with these cheap sons of bitches who claim they love poetry but never buy a book.

Kenneth Rexroth was an American poet, translator and critical essayist. He is seen as a central figure in the San Francisco Renaissance. He was named the “Father of the Beats” by Time Magazine. He was among the first poets in the United States to explore traditional Japanese poetic themes and forms. He wrote 100 Poems from the Japanese.

Source for Image

by Amanda Patterson

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