Money is the necessity that frees us from necessity. Of all novelists in any country, Trollope best understands the role of money. Compared with him even Balzac is a romantic.
Men will pay large sums to whores for telling them they are not bores.
Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.
There's only one good test of pornography. Get twelve normal men to read the book, and then ask them, ''Did you get an erection?'' If the answer is ''Yes'' from a majority of the twelve, then the book is pornographic.
The mass and majesty of this world, all
That carries weight and always weighs the same Lay in the hands of others; they were small And could not hope for help and no help came: What their foes like to do was done, their shame Was all the worst could wish; they lost their pride And died as men before their bodies died.
A poet is a professional maker of verbal objects.
When someone between twenty and forty says, apropos of a work of art, 'I know what I like,' he is really saying 'I have no taste of my own but accept the taste of my cultural milieu.
I don't think the mystical experience can be verbalized. When the ego disappears, so does power over language.
One of the most horrible, yet most important, discoveries of our age has been that, if you really wish to destroy a person and turn him into an automaton, the surest method is not physical torture, in the strict sense, but simply to keep him awake, i.e., in an existential relation to life without intermission.
Literary confessors are contemptible, like beggars who exhibit their sores for money, but not so contemptible as the public that buys their books.
To my generation no other English poet seemed so perfectly to express the sensibility of a male adolescent. If I do not now turn to him very often, I am eternally grateful to him for the joy he gave me in my youth.
Machines are beneficial to the degree that they eliminate the need for labor, harmful to the degree that they eliminate the need for skill.
You need not see what someone is doing to know if it is his vocation, you have only to watch his eyes: a cook mixing a sauce, a surgeon making a primary incision, a clerk completing a bill of lading wear the same rapt expression, forgetting themselves in a function. How beautiful it is, that eye-on-the-obje ct look.
A culture is no better than its woods.
At first critics classified authors as Ancients, that is to say, Greek and Latin authors, and Moderns, that is to say, every post-Classical Author. Then they classified them by eras, the Augustans, the Victorians, etc., and now they classify them by decades, the writers of the '30's, '40's, etc. Very soon, it seems, they will be labeling authors, like automobiles, by the year.
Nobody knows what the cause is, though some pretend they do; it like some hidden assassin waiting to strike at you. Childless women get it, and men when they retire; it as if there had to be some outlet for their foiled creative fire.
Had Greek civilization never existed ... we would never have become fully conscious.
Swans in the winter air
A white perfection have.
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief: We must suffer them all again.
It takes little talent to see what lies under one's nose, a good deal to know in what direction to point that organ.
Without Art, we should have no notion of the sacred; without Science, we should always worship false gods.
The nightingales are sobbing in The orchards of our mothers, And hearts that we broke long ago Have long been breaking others; Tears are round, the sea is deep: Roll them overboard and sleep.
In Brueghel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away Quite leisurely from the disaster, the ploughman may Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry, But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green water, And the expensive ship that must have seen Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky, Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.
Let us honor if we can the vertical man, though we value none but the horizontal one.
The older lives like not to be stood in rows or at right angles.
There is no love;
There are only the various envies, all of them sad.
The element of craftsmanship in poetry is obscured by the fact that all men are taught to speak and most to read and write, while very few men are taught to draw or paint or write music.
To pray is to pay attention to something or someone other than oneself. Whenever a man so concentrates his attention -- on a landscape, a poem, a geometrical problem, an idol, or the True God -- that he completely forgets his own ego and desires, he is praying. The primary task of the schoolteacher is to teach children, in a secular context, the technique of prayer.
It's frightening how easy it is to commit murder in America. Just a drink too much. I can see myself doing it. In England, one feels all the social restraints holding one back. But here, anything can happen.
My face looks like a wedding-cake left out in the rain.
The commonest ivory tower is that of the average man, the state of passivity towards experience.
An unmanly sort of man whose love life seems to have been largely confined to crying in laps and playing mouse.
The ear tends to be lazy, craves the familiar and is shocked by the unexpected; the eye, on the other hand, tends to be impatient, craves the novel and is bored by repetition.
Evil is unspectacular and always human, and shares our bed and eats at our own table.
To ask the hard question is simple.
It is nonsense to speak of 'higher' and 'lower' pleasures. To a hungry man it is, rightly, more important that he eat than that he philosophize.
Behind the corpse in the reservoir, behind the ghost on the links, Behind the lady who dances and the man who madly drinks, Under the look of fatigue, the attack of migraine and the sigh There is always another story, there is more than meets the eye.
In the deserts of the heart
Let the healing fountain start.
God is Love, we are taught as children to believe. But when we first begin to get some inkling of how He loves us, we are repelled; it seems so cold, indeed, not love at all as we understand the word.
Far from his illness The wolves ran on through the evergreen forests, The peasant river was untempted by the fashionable quays; By mourning tongues The death of the poet was kept from his poems.
God bless the USA, so large, so friendly, and so rich.
In relation to a writer, most readers believe in the Double Standard: they may be unfaithful to him as often as they like, but he must never, never be unfaithful to them.
There has been a vast output of critical studies in contemporary poetry, some of them first rate, but I do not think that , as a rule, a poet should read them.
Like everything which is not the involuntary result of fleeting emotion but the creation of time and will, any marriage, happy or unhappy, is infinitely more interesting than any romance, however passionate.
People always get what they want. But there is a price for everything. Failures are either those who do not know what they want or are not prepared to pay the price asked them. The price varies from individual to individual. Some get things at bargain-sale prices, others only at famine prices. But it is no use grumbling. Whatever price you are asked, you must pay.
But once in a while the odd thing happens
Once in a while the dream comes true And the whole pattern of life is altered Once in a while, the moon turns blue.
Earth, receive an honored guest; William Yeats is laid to rest. Let the Irish vessel lie Emptied of its poetry.
We do not change as we grow up. The difference between the child and the adult is that the former doesn't know who he is and the latter does.
I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street Uncertain and afraid As the clever hopes expire Of a low dishonest decade.
We are here on earth to do good for others. What the others are here for, I don't know.
The trees encountered on a country stroll Reveal a lot about that country's soul ... A culture is no better than its woods.
A real book is not one that we read, but one that reads us.
Water is the soul of the Earth.
Left to itself the masculine imagination has very little appreciation for the here and now; it prefers to dwell on what is absent, on what has been or may be. If men are more punctual than women, it is because they know that, without the external discipline of clock time, they would never get anything done.
Almost all of our relationships begin and most of them continue as forms of mutual exploitation, a mental or physical barter, to be terminated when one or both parties run out of goods.
Man is a history-making creature, who can neither repeat his past, nor leave it behind.
One demands two things of a poem. Firstly, it must be a well-made verbal object that does honor to the language in which it is written. Secondly, it must say something significant about a reality common to us all, but perceived from a unique perspective. What the poet says has never been said before, but, once he has said it, his readers recognize its validity for themselves.
Of all possible subjects, travel is the most difficult for an artist, as it is the easiest for a journalist.
If it really was Queen Elizabeth who demanded to see Falstaff in a comedy, then she showed herself a very perceptive critic. But even in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Falstaff has not and could not have found his true home because Shakespeare was only a poet. For that he was to wait nearly two hundred years till Verdi wrote his last opera. Falstaff is not the only case of a character whose true home is the world of music; others are Tristan, Isolde and Don Giovanni.
Money cannot buy the fuel of love but is excellent kindling.
The glacier knocks in the cupboard, The desert sighs in the bed, And the crack in the teacup opens A lane to the land of the dead.
Stares from every human face, And the seas of pity lie Locked and frozen in each eye.
Slavery is so intolerable a condition that the slave can hardly escape deluding himself into thinking that he is choosing to obey his master's commands when, in fact, he is obliged to. Most slaves of habit suffer from this delusion and so do some writers, enslaved by an all too personal style.
One cannot walk through an assembly factory and not feel that one is in Hell.
It is already possible to imagine a society in which the majority of the population, that is to say, its laborers, will have almost as much leisure as in earlier times was enjoyed by the aristocracy. When one recalls how aristocracies in the past actually behaved, the prospect is not cheerful.
The critical opinions of a writer should always be taken with a large grain of salt. For the most part, they are manifestations of his debate with himself as to what he should do next and what he should avoid.
Sincerity is technique.
Those who hate to go to bed fear death; those who hate to get up fear life.
Proper names are poetry in the raw.
Like all poetry they are untranslatable.
A poet can write about a man slaying a dragon, but not about a man pushing a button that releases a bomb.
Narcissus does not fall in love with his reflection because it is beautiful, but because it is his. If it were his beauty that enthralled him, he would be set free in a few years by its fading.
Every American poet feels that the whole responsibility for contemporary poetry has fallen upon his shoulders, that he is a literary aristocracy of one.
Geniuses are the luckiest of mortals because what they must do is the same as what they most want to do.
In headaches and in worry vaguely life leaks away, And time will have his fancy tomorrow or today.
A poet must never make a statement simply because it is sounds poetically exciting; he must also believe it to be true.
Whatever the field under discussion, those who engage in debate must not only believe in each other's good faith, but also in their capacity to arrive at the truth.
The countenances of children, like those of animals, are masks, not faces, for they have not yet developed a significant profile of their own.
Man desires to be free and he desires to feel important. This places him in a dilemma, for the more he emancipates himself from necessity the less important he feels.
Detective stories have nothing to do with works of art.
It's frightfully important for a writer to be his age, not to be younger or older than he is. One might ask, "What should I write at the age of sixty-four," but never, "What should I write in 1940."
A poor American feels guilty at being poor, but less guilty than an American rentier who has inherited wealth but is doing nothingto increase it; what can the latter do but take to drink and psychoanalysis?
As I walked out one evening, Walking down Bristol Street, The crowds upon the pavement Were fields of harvest wheat. And down by the brimming river I heard a lover sing Under an arch of the railway: 'Love has no ending. 'I'll love you, dear, I'll love you Till China and Africa meet, And the river jumps over the mountain And the salmon sing in the street, 'I'll love you till the ocean Is folded and hung up to dry And the seven stars go squawking Like geese about the sky.
If age, which is certainly Just as wicked as youth, look any wiser, It is only that youth is still able to believe It will get away with anything, while age Knows only too well that it has got away with nothing.
A man has his distinctive personal scent which his wife, his children and his dog can recognize. A crowd has a generalized stink. The public is odorless.
You know there are no secrets in America. It's quite different in England, where people think of a secret as a shared relation between two people.
Blessed be all metrical rules that forbid automatic responses, force us to have second thoughts, free us from the fetters of Self.
It is, for example, axiomatic that we should all think of ourselves as being more sensitive than other people because, when we are insensitive in our dealings with others, we cannot be aware of it at the time: conscious insensitivity is a self-contradiction.
Dogmatic theological statements are neither logical propositions nor poetic utterances. They are ''shaggy dog'' stories; they have a point, but he who tries too hard to get it will miss it.
Recipe for the upbringing of a poet: 'As much neurosis as the child can bear.
In the end, art is small beer. The really serious things are earning one's living so as not to be a parasite and loving one's neighbor.
Christ did not enchant men; He demanded that they believe in Him: except on one occasion, the Transfiguration. For a brief while, Peter, James, and John were permitted to see Him in His glory. For that brief while they had no need of faith. The vision vanished, and the memory of it did not prevent them from all forsaking Him when He was arrested, or Peter from denying that he had ever known Him.
A poet feels the impulse to create a work of art when the passive awe provoked by an event is transformed into a desire to express that awe in a rite of worship.
All the rest is silence On the other side of the wall, And the silence ripeness, And the ripeness all.
Pleasure is by no means an infallible critical guide, but it is the least fallible.
Criticism should be a casual conversation.
Hunger allows no choice.
Fame often makes a writer vain, but seldom makes him proud.
All good art is in the nature of a letter written to amuse a sick friend. Too much art, particularly in our time, is only a letter written to oneself.
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone. Silence the pianos and with muffled drum Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
The way to read a fairy tale is to throw yourself in.
Few people take an interest in Iceland, but in those few the interest is passionate.
The masculine imagination lives in a state of perpetual revolt against the limitations of human life. In theological terms, one might say that all men, left to themselves, become gnostics. They may swagger like peacocks, but in their heart of hearts they all think sex an indignity and wish they could beget themselves on themselves. Hence the aggressive hostility toward women so manifest in most club-car stories.
If it form the one landscape that we the inconstant ones
Are consistently homesick for, this is chiefly Because it dissolves in water.
When one looks into the window of a store which sells devotional art objects, one can't help wishing the iconoclasts had won.
Aphorisms are essentially an aristocratic genre of writing. The aphorist does not argue or explain, he asserts; and implicit in his assertion is a conviction that he is wiser and more intelligent than his readers.
To me Art's subject is the human clay, And landscape but a background to a torso; All Cezanne's apples I would give away For one small Goya or a Daumier.
No good opera plot can be sensible, for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible.
One rational voice is dumb: over a grave
The household of Impulse mourns one dearly loved. Sad is Eros, builder of cities, And weeping anarchic Aphrodite.
Beauty, midnight, vision dies: Let the winds of dawn that blow Softly round your dreaming head Such a day of welcome show Eye and knocking heart may bless, Find our mortal world enough; Noons of dryness find you fed By the involuntary powers, Nights of insult let you pass Watched by every human love.
Life is a picnic on a precipice.
The most difficult problem in personal knowledge, whether of oneself or of others, is the problem of guessing when to think as a historian and when to think as an anthropologist.
In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed: They must be fit for it: they must not do too much of it: and they must have a sense of success in it -- not a doubtful sense, such as needs some testimony of others for its confirmation, but a sure sense, or rather knowledge, that so much work has been done well, and fruitfully done, whatever the world may say or think about it.
Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies; Yet, dotted everywhere, Ironic points of light Flash out wherever the Just Exchange their messages: May I, composed like them Of Eros and of dust, Beleaguered by the same Negation and despair, Show an affirming flame.
Most poetry is the utterance of a man in some state of passion, love, joy, grief, rage, etc., and no doubt this is as it should be. But no man is perpetually in a passion and those states in which he is amused and amusing, detached and irreverent, if less important, are no less amusing. If there were no poets who, like Byron, express these states, Poetry would lack something.
The truly tragic kind of suffering is the kind produced and defiantly insisted upon by the hero himself so that, instead of making him better, it makes him worse and when he dies he is not reconciled to the law but defiant, that is, damned. Lear is not a tragic hero, Othello is.
Music is the best means we have of digesting time.
Without communication with the dead, a fully human life is not possible.
Beloved, we are always in the wrong, Handling so clumsily our stupid lives, Suffering too little or too long, Too careful even in our selfish loves: The decorative manias we obey Die in grimaces round us every day, Yet through their tohu-bohu comes a voice Which utters an absurd command -- Rejoice.
Art is born of humiliation.
There was still gold and silver in the mountains,
And hunger was a more immediate sorrow.
Some books are undeservedly forgotten; none are undeservedly remembered.
Hemingway is terribly limited. His technique is good for short stories, for people who meet once in a bar very late at night, but do not enter into relations. But not for the novel.
And make us as Newton was, who in his garden watching The apple falling towards England, became aware Between himself and her of an eternal tie.
Alone, alone, about the dreadful wood Of conscious evil runs a lost mankind, Dreading to find its Father.
Choice of attention -- to pay attention to this and ignore that -- is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer. In both cases, a man is responsible for his choice and must accept the consequences, whatever they may be.
A god who is both self-sufficient and content to remain so could not interest us enough to raise the question of his existence.
Now is the age of anxiety.
Health is the state about which medicine has nothing to say.
One cannot review a bad book without showing off.
Those who will not reason, perish in the act. Those who will not act, perish for that reason.
Perhaps there is only one cardinal sin: impatience. Because of impatience we were driven out of Paradise, because of impatience we cannot return.
America has always been a country of amateurs where the professional, that is to say, the man who claims authority as a member of an élite which knows the law in some field or other, is an object of distrust and resentment.
The words of a dead man are modified in the guts of the living.
If the most significant characteristic of man is the complex of biological needs he shares with all members of his species, then the best lives for the writer to observe are those in which the role of natural necessity is clearest, namely, the lives of the very poor.
Soft as the earth is mankind and both need to be altered.
Christmas and Easter can be subjects for poetry, but Good Friday, like Auschwitz, cannot. The reality is so horrible it is not surprising that people should have found it a stumbling block to faith.
Yet no one hears his own remarks as prose.
I think the first prerequisite to civilization is an ability to make polite conversation.
The belief that politics can be scientific must inevitably produce tyrannies. Politics cannot be a science, because in politics theory and practice cannot be separated, and the sciences depend upon their separation. Empirical politics must be kept in bounds by democratic institutions, which leave it up to the subjects of the experiment to say whether it shall be tried, and to stop it if they dislike it, because, in politics, there is a distinction, unknown to science, between Truth and Justice.
Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about.
Harrow the house of the dead; look shining at New styles of architecture, a change of heart.
As a poet, there is only one political duty, and that is to defend one's language from corruption.
Acts of injustice done
Between the setting and the rising sun In history lie like bones, each one.
One of the troubles of our times is that we are all, I think, precocious as personalities and backward as characters.
Caesar's double-bed is warm
As an unimportant clerk Writes i do not like my work On a pink official form.
Say this city has ten million souls, Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes: Yet there's no place for us, my dear, yet there's no place for us.
What the poet says has never been said before, but, once he has said it, his readers recognize its validity for themselves.
The Three Wiseman: The weather has been awful, The countryside is dreary, Marsh, jungle, rock; and echoes mock, Calling our hope unlawful; But a silly song can help along Yours ever and sincerely: At least we know for certain that we are three old sinners, that this journey is much too long, that we want our dinners, and miss our wives, our books, our dogs, but have only the vaguest idea why we are what we are. To discover how to be human now Is the reason we follow this star.
There is a certain kind of person who is so dominated by the desire to be loved for himself alone that he has constantly to test those around him by tiresome behavior; what he says and does must be admired, not because it is intrinsically admirable, but because it is his remark, his act. Does not this explain a good deal of avant-garde art?
Every high C accurately struck demolishes the theory that we are the irresponsible puppets of fate or chance.
So long as we think of it objectively, time is Fate or Chance, the factor in our lives for which we are not responsible, and about which we can do nothing; but when we begin to think of it subjectively, we feel responsible for our time, and the notion of punctuality arises.
My poetry doesn't change from place to place -- it changes with the years. It's very important to be one's age. You get ideas you have to turn down -- "I'm sorry, no longer," "I'm sorry, not yet."
Cathedrals, luxury liners laden with souls, Holding to the east their hulls of stone.
In a land which is fully settled, most men must accept their local environment or try to change it by political means; only the exceptionally gifted or adventurous can leave to seek his fortune elsewhere. In America, on the other hand, to move on and make a fresh start somewhere else is still the normal reaction to dissatisfaction and failure.
The ideal audience the poet imagines consists of the beautiful who go to bed with him, the powerful who invite him to dinner and tell him secrets of state, and his fellow-poets. The actual audience he gets consists of myopic schoolteachers, pimply young men who eat in cafeterias, and his fellow-poets. This means, in fact, he writes for his fellow-poets.
The poet who writes "free" verse is like Robinson Crusoe on his desert island: he must do all his cooking, laundry and darning for himself. In a few exceptional cases, this manly independence produces something original and impressive, but more often the result is squalor -- dirty sheets on the unmade bed and empty bottles on the unswept floor.
The condition of mankind is, and always has been, so miserable and depraved that, if anyone were to say to the poet: "For God's sake stop singing and do something useful like putting on the kettle or fetching bandages," what just reason could he give for refusing?
But if a stranger in the train asks me my occupation, I never answer "writer" for fear that he may go on to ask me what I write, and to answer "poetry" would embarrass us both, for we both know that nobody can earn a living simply by writing poetry.
Machines have no political opinions, but they have profound political effects. They demand a strict regimentation of time, and, by abolishing the need for manual skill, have transformed the majority of the population from workers into laborers. There are, that is to say, fewer and fewer jobs which a man can find a pride and satisfaction in doing well, more and more which have no interest in themselves and can be valued only for the money they provide.
In times of joy, all of us wished we possessed a tail we could wag.
Organic growth is a cyclical process; it is just as true to say that the oak is a potential acorn as it is to say the acorn is a potential oak. But the process of writing a poem, of making any art object, is not cyclical but a motion in one direction toward a definite end.
I smell blood and an era of prominent madmen.
Now the leaves are falling fast,
Nurse's flowers will not last; Nurses to their graves are gone, And the prams go rolling on.
We are all here on earth to help others. What on earth the others are here for I don't know.
Over the tea-cups and in the square the tongue has its desire; Still waters run deep, my dear, there's never smoke without fire.
A small grove massacred to the last ash,
An oak with heart-rot, give away the show:
This great society is going to smash;
They cannot fool us with how fast they go,
How much they cost each other and the gods.
A culture is no better than its woods.
One cannot review a bad book without showing off.
The desires of the heart are as crooked as corkscrews Not to be born is the best for man The second best is a formal order The dance's pattern, dance while you can. Dance, dance, for the figure is easy The tune is catching and will not stop Dance till the stars come down from the rafters Dance, dance, dance till you drop.
The child unlucky in his little State,
Some hearth where freedom is excluded, A hive whose honey is fear and worry, Feels calmer now and somehow assured of escape.
Courses in prosody, rhetoric and comparative philology would be required of all students, and every student would have to select three courses out of courses in mathematics, natural history, geology, meteorology, archaeology, mythology, liturgics, cooking.
There must always be two kinds of art: escape-art, for man needs escape as he needs food and deep sleep, and parable-art, that art which shall teach man to unlearn hatred and learn love.
Desire, even in its wildest tantrums, can neither persuade me it is love nor stop me from wishing it were.
We all have these places where shy humiliations gambol on sunny afternoons.
We are not commanded (or forbidden) to love our mates, our children, our friends, our country because such affections come naturally to us and are good in themselves, although we may corrupt them. We are commanded to love our neighbor because our natural attitude toward the other is one of either indifference or hostility.
Every poet has his dream reader: mine keeps a look out for curious prosodic fauna like bacchics and choriambs.
To hunt for symbols in a fairy tale is absolutely fatal.
That the speech of self-disclosure should be translatable seems to me very odd, but I am convinced that it is. The conclusion that I draw is that the only quality which all human being without exception possess is uniqueness: any characteristic, on the other hand, which one individual can be recognized as having in common with another, like red hair or the English language, implies the existence of other individual qualities which this classification excludes.
Mad Ireland hurt you into poetry.
The parlour cars and Pullmans are packed also with scented assassins, salad-eaters who murder on milk.
Warm are the still and lucky miles, White shores of longing stretch away, A light of recognition fills The whole great day, and bright The tiny world of lovers' arms. Silence invades the breathing wood Where drowsy limbs a treasure keep, Now greenly falls the learned shade Across the sleeping brows And stirs their secret to a smile. Restored! Returned! The lost are borne On seas of shipwreck home at last: See! In a fire of praising burns The dry dumb past, and we Our life-day long shall part no more.
What the mass media offers is not popular art, but entertainment which is intended to be consumed like food, forgotten, and replaced by a new dish.
Civilizations should be measured by the degree of diversity attained and the degree of unity retained.
How happy is the lot of the mathematician! He is judged solely by his peers, and the standard is so high that no colleague or rival can ever win a reputation he does not deserve. No cashier writes a letter to the press complaining about the incomprehensibility of Modern Mathematics and comparing it unfavorably with the good old days when mathematicians were content to paper irregularly shaped rooms and fill bathtubs without closing the waste pipe.
It is a sad fact about our culture that a poet can earn much more money writing or talking about his art than he can by practicing it.
Learn from your dreams what you lack.
In a world of prayer, we are all equal in the sense that each of us is a unique person, with a unique perspective on the world, a member of a class of one.
A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.
Between labor and play stands work. A man is a worker if he is personally interested in the job which society pays him to do; whatfrom the point of view of society is necessary labor is from his point of view voluntary play. Whether a job is to be classified as labor or work depends, not on the job itself, but on the tastes of the individual who undertakes it. The difference does not, for example, coincide with the difference between a manual and a mental job; a gardener or a cobbler may be a worker, a bank clerk a laborer.
The sky is darkening like a stain Something is going to fall like rain And it won't be flowers.
Shall memory restore The steps and the shore, The face and the meeting place.
Rhymes, meters, stanza forms, etc., are like servants. If the master is fair enough to win their affection and firm enough to command their respect, the result is an orderly happy household. If he is too tyrannical, they give notice; if he lacks authority, they become slovenly, impertinent, drunk and dishonest.