Robert Penn Warren (April 24, 1905 - September 15, 1989) was an American poet, novelist, and literary critic and was one of the founders of New Criticism. He was also a charter member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. He founded the influential literary journal The Southern Review with Cleanth Brooks in 1935. He received the 1947 Pulitzer Prize for his novel All the King's Men (1946) and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1958 and 1979. He is the only person to have won Pulitzer Prizes for both fiction and poetry. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)
(Today is also the birthday of Anthony Trollope)
A young man's ambition- to get along in the world and make a place for himself- half your life goes that way, till you're 45 or 50. Then, if you're lucky, you make terms with life, you get released.
And the testicles of the fathers hang down like old lace.
And what we students of history always learn is that the human being is a very complicated contraption and that they are not good or bad but are good and bad and the good comes out of the bad and the bad out of the good, and the devil take the hindmost.
But if anything is certain it is that no story is ever over, for the story which we think is over is only a chapter in a story which will not be over, and it isn't the game that is over, it is just an inning, and that game has a lot more than nine innings. When the game stops it will be called on account of darkness. But it is a long day.
Everything seems an echo of something else.
For either killing or creating may be a crime punishable by death, and the death always comes by the criminal's own hand and every man is suicide. If a man knew how to live he would never die.
For God and Nothing have a lot in common. You look either one of Them straight in the eye for a second and the immediate effect on the human constitution is the same.
For the truth is a terrible thing. You dabble your foot in it and it is nothing. But you walk a little farther and you feel it pull you like an undertow or a whirlpool. First there is the slow pull so steady and gradual you scarcely notice it, then the acceleration, then the dizzy whirl and plunge into darkness. For there is a blackness of truth, too. They say it is a terrible thing to fall into the Grace of God. I am prepared to believe that.
For whatever you live is life.
Goodness... You got to make it out of badness... Because there isn't anything else to make it out of.
Here is the shadow of truth, for only the shadow is true.
History is not melodrama, even if it usually reads like that. It was real blood, not tomato catsup or the pale ectoplasm of statistics, that wet the ground at Bloody Angle and darkened the waters of Bloody Pond.
If you could not accept the past and its burden there was no future, for without one there cannot be the other.
In separateness only does love learn definition.
It is a human defect- to try to know one's self by the self of another.
Man is conceived in sin and born in corruption and he passeth from the stink of the didie to the stench of the shroud. There is always something.
Maybe a man has to sell his soul to get the power to do good.
Poets, we know, are terribly sensitive people, and in my observation one of the things they are most sensitive about is money.
Politics is a matter of choices, and a man doesn't set up the choices himself. And there is always a price to make a choice. You know that. You've made a choice, and you know how much it cost you. There is always a price.
She lifted her sewing and bit off the thread in the way women do to make your flesh crawl.
Sometimes sleep gets to be a serious and complete thing. You stop going to sleep in order that you may be able to get up, but get up in order that you may be able to go back to sleep.
Storytelling and copulation are the two chief forms of amusement in the South. They're inexpensive and easy to procure.
The best luck always happens to people who don't need it.
The end of man is knowledge but there's one thing he can't know. He can't know whether knowledge will save him or kill him. He will be killed, all right, but he can't know whether he is killed because of the knowledge which he has got or because of the knowledge which he hasn't got and which if he had it would save him.
The lack of a sense of history is the damnation of the modern world.
The past is always a rebuke to the present.
There is nothing more alone than being in a car at night in the rain.
They say you are not you except in terms of relation to other people. If there weren't any other people there wouldn't be any you because what you do, which is what you are, only has meaning in relation to other people.
When you get born your father and mother lost something out of themselves, and they are going to bust a ham trying to get it back, and you are it. They know they can't get it all back but they will get as big a chunk out of you as they can.