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Robert Graves

Geburtstag: 24. Juli 1895
Todesdatum: 7. Dezember 1985

Robert Graves, im deutschen Sprachraum Robert von Ranke-Graves , war ein britischer Schriftsteller und Dichter. Wikipedia

Zitate Robert Graves

„Having now been in the trenches for five months, I had passed my prime.“

—  Robert Graves

Quelle: Goodbye to All That (1929), Ch.16 On being in the trenches in France in 1915.
Kontext: Having now been in the trenches for five months, I had passed my prime. For the first three weeks, an officer was of little use in the front line... Between three weeks and four weeks he was at his best, unless he happened to have any particular bad shock or sequence of shocks. Then his usefulness gradually declined as neurasthenia developed. At six months he was still more or less all right; but by nine or ten months, unless he had been given a few weeks' rest on a technical course, or in hospital, he usually became a drag on the other company officers. After a year or fifteen months he was often worse than useless.

„He is older than the seas,
Older than the plains and hills,
And older than the light that spills
From the sun's hot wheel on these.“

—  Robert Graves

"The God Called Poetry".
Country Sentiment (1920)
Kontext: He is older than the seas,
Older than the plains and hills,
And older than the light that spills
From the sun's hot wheel on these.
He wakes the gale that tears your trees,
He sings to you from window sills.

„Let statesmen bluster, bark and bray,
And so decide who started
This bloody war, and who's to pay,
But he must be stout-hearted,
Must sit and stake with quiet breath,
Playing at cards with Death.“

—  Robert Graves

"To Lucasta on Going to the War — For the Fourth Time"
Fairies and Fusiliers (1917)
Kontext: Let statesmen bluster, bark and bray,
And so decide who started
This bloody war, and who's to pay,
But he must be stout-hearted,
Must sit and stake with quiet breath,
Playing at cards with Death.
Don't plume yourself he fights for you;
It is no courage, love, or hate,
But let us do the things we do;
It's pride that makes the heart be great;
It is not anger, no, nor fear —
Lucasta he's a Fusilier,
And his pride keeps him here.

„Nobody is familiar with his own profile, and it comes as a shock, when one sees it in a portrait, that one really looks like that to people standing beside one.“

—  Robert Graves

Quelle: Claudius the God (1935), Ch. 6.
Kontext: Nobody is familiar with his own profile, and it comes as a shock, when one sees it in a portrait, that one really looks like that to people standing beside one. For one's full face, because of the familiarity that mirrors give it, a certain toleration and even affection is felt; but I must say that when I first saw the model of the gold piece that the mint-masters were striking for me I grew angry and asked whether it was intended to be a caricature. My little head with its worried face perched on my long neck, and the Adam's apple standing out almost like a second chin, shocked me. But Messalina said: "No, my dear, that's really what you look like. In fact, it is rather flattering than otherwise."

„Kaisers and Czars will strut the stage
Once more with pomp and greed and rage“

—  Robert Graves

"The Next War".
Fairies and Fusiliers (1917)
Kontext: Kaisers and Czars will strut the stage
Once more with pomp and greed and rage;
Courtly ministers will stop
At home and fight to the last drop;
By the million men will die
In some new horrible agony...

„Though I am a poor old man
Worth very little,
Yet I suck at my long pipe
At peace in the sun,
I do not fret nor much regret
That my work is done.“

—  Robert Graves

Country Sentiment (1920)
Kontext: I am an old man
With my bones very brittle,
Though I am a poor old man
Worth very little,
Yet I suck at my long pipe
At peace in the sun,
I do not fret nor much regret
That my work is done.

"Brittle Bones".

„Love, Fear and Hate and Childish Toys
Are here discreetly blent“

—  Robert Graves

Country Sentiment (1920)
Kontext: Love, Fear and Hate and Childish Toys
Are here discreetly blent;
Admire, you ladies, read, you boys,
My Country Sentiment.

"A First Review".

„Another War soon gets begun,
A dirtier, a more glorious one;
Then, boys, you'll have to play, all in;
It's the cruellest team will win.
So hold your nose against the stink
And never stop too long to think.“

—  Robert Graves

"The Next War".
Fairies and Fusiliers (1917)
Kontext: Another War soon gets begun,
A dirtier, a more glorious one;
Then, boys, you'll have to play, all in;
It's the cruellest team will win.
So hold your nose against the stink
And never stop too long to think.
Wars don't change except in name;
The next one must go just the same,
And new foul tricks unguessed before
Will win and justify this War.

„There is one story and one story only
That will prove worth your telling“

—  Robert Graves

"To Juan at the Winter Solstice" from Poems 1938-1945 (1946).
Poems
Kontext: There is one story and one story only
That will prove worth your telling,
Whether as learned bard or gifted child;
To it all lines or lesser guards belong
That startle with their shining
Such common stories as they stray into.

„Men feared, adored, and obeyed the matriarch; the hearth which she tended in a cave or hut being their earliest social centre, and motherhood their prime mystery.“

—  Robert Graves, buch The Greek Myths

Volume 1, Introduction.
The Greek Myths (1955)
Kontext: Ancient Europe had no gods. The Great Goddess was regarded as immortal, changeless, and omnipotent; and the concept of fatherhood had not been introduced into religious thought. She took lovers, but for pleasure, not to provide her children with a father. Men feared, adored, and obeyed the matriarch; the hearth which she tended in a cave or hut being their earliest social centre, and motherhood their prime mystery.

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„But old Death, who can't forget,
Waits his time and watches yet,
Waits and watches by the door.“

—  Robert Graves

"The Cottage".
Fairies and Fusiliers (1917)
Kontext: Through the window I can see
Rooks above the cherry-tree,
Sparrows in the violet bed,
Bramble-bush and bumble-bee,
And old red bracken smoulders still
Among boulders on the hill,
Far too bright to seem quite dead.
But old Death, who can't forget,
Waits his time and watches yet,
Waits and watches by the door.

„Down on his knees he sinks, the stiff-necked King,
Stoops and kneels and grovels, chin to the mud.“

—  Robert Graves

"Nebuchadnezzar's Fall"
Country Sentiment (1920)
Kontext: Down on his knees he sinks, the stiff-necked King,
Stoops and kneels and grovels, chin to the mud.
Out from his changed heart flutter on startled wing
The fancy birds of his Pride, Honour, Kinglihood.
He crawls, he grunts, he is beast-like, frogs and snails
His diet, and grass, and water with hand for cup.
He herds with brutes that have hooves and horns and tails,
He roars in his anger, he scratches, he looks not up.

„Poet, never chase the dream.
Laugh yourself and turn away.
Mask your hunger, let it seem
Small matter if he come or stay“

—  Robert Graves

"A Pinch of Salt".
Fairies and Fusiliers (1917)
Kontext: Poet, never chase the dream.
Laugh yourself and turn away.
Mask your hunger, let it seem
Small matter if he come or stay;
But when he nestles in your hand at last,
Close up your fingers tight and hold him fast.

„The habit of obscurity is partly caused by a settled disinclination among public servants to give a definite refusal even where assent is out of the question; or to convey a vigorous rebuke even where, in private correspondence, any person with self-respect would feel bound to do so.“

—  Robert Graves

Quelle: The Reader Over Your Shoulder (1943), Ch.4: "The Use and Abuse of Official English"
Kontext: The chief trouble with the official style is that it spreads far beyond the formal contexts to which it is suited. Most civil servants, having learned to write in this way, cannot throw off the habit. The obscurity of their public announcements largely accounts for the disrepute into which Departmental activities have fallen: for the public naturally supposes that Departments are as muddled and stodgy as their announcements.
The habit of obscurity is partly caused by a settled disinclination among public servants to give a definite refusal even where assent is out of the question; or to convey a vigorous rebuke even where, in private correspondence, any person with self-respect would feel bound to do so. The mood is conveyed by a polite and emasculated style — polite because, when writing to a member of the public, the public servant is, in theory at least, addressing one of his collective employers; emasculated because, as a cog in the Government machine, he must make his phrases look as mechanical as possible by stripping them of all personal feeling and opinion.

„He roars in his anger, he scratches, he looks not up.“

—  Robert Graves

"Nebuchadnezzar's Fall"
Country Sentiment (1920)
Kontext: Down on his knees he sinks, the stiff-necked King,
Stoops and kneels and grovels, chin to the mud.
Out from his changed heart flutter on startled wing
The fancy birds of his Pride, Honour, Kinglihood.
He crawls, he grunts, he is beast-like, frogs and snails
His diet, and grass, and water with hand for cup.
He herds with brutes that have hooves and horns and tails,
He roars in his anger, he scratches, he looks not up.

„The scenes were nearly always recollections of my first four months in France; the emotion-recording apparatus seems to have failed after Loos.“

—  Robert Graves

Quelle: Goodbye to All That (1929), Ch. 27 On studying at Oxford University in 1919.
Kontext: In the middle of a lecture I would have a sudden very clear experience of men on the march up the Béthune–La Bassée road; the men would be singing... These daydreams persisted like an alternate life and did not leave me until well in 1928. The scenes were nearly always recollections of my first four months in France; the emotion-recording apparatus seems to have failed after Loos.

„Opposite our trenches a German salient protruded, and the brigadier wanted to "bite it off" in proof of the division's offensive spirit. Trench soldiers could never understand the Staff's desire to bite off an enemy salient. It was hardly desirable to be fired at from both flanks“

—  Robert Graves

Quelle: Goodbye to All That (1929), Ch.22.
Kontext: Opposite our trenches a German salient protruded, and the brigadier wanted to "bite it off" in proof of the division's offensive spirit. Trench soldiers could never understand the Staff's desire to bite off an enemy salient. It was hardly desirable to be fired at from both flanks; if the Germans had got caught in a salient, our obvious duty was to keep them there as long as they could be persuaded to stay. We concluded that a passion for straight lines, for which headquarters were well known, had dictated this plan, which had no strategic or tactical excuse.

„None of all the magic hosts,
None remain but a few ghosts
Of timorous heart, to linger on
Weeping for lost Babylon.“

—  Robert Graves

"Babylon"
Fairies and Fusiliers (1917)
Kontext: Robin, and Red Riding Hood
Take together to the wood,
And Sir Galahad lies hid
In a cave with Captain Kidd.
None of all the magic hosts,
None remain but a few ghosts
Of timorous heart, to linger on
Weeping for lost Babylon.

„Cuinchy bred rats. They came up from the canal, fed on the plentiful corpses, and multiplied exceedingly.“

—  Robert Graves

Quelle: Goodbye to All That (1929), Ch.14.
Kontext: Cuinchy bred rats. They came up from the canal, fed on the plentiful corpses, and multiplied exceedingly. While I stayed here with the Welsh, a new officer joined the company... When he turned in that night, he heard a scuffling, shone his torch on the bed, and found two rats on his blanket tussling for the possession of a severed hand.

„The frog-pool wanted a king.
Jove sent them Old King Log.“

—  Robert Graves

Quelle: Claudius the God (1935), Ch. 30.
Kontext: The frog-pool wanted a king.
Jove sent them Old King Log.
I have been as deaf and blind and wooden as a log.
The frog-pool wanted a king.
Let Jove now send them Young King Stork.
Caligula's chief fault: his stork-reign was too brief.
My chief fault: I have been far too benevolent.
I repaired the ruin my predecessors spread.
I reconciled Rome and the world to monarchy again.
Rome is fated to bow to another Caesar.
Let him be mad, bloody, capricious, wasteful, lustful.
King Stork shall prove again the nature of kings.
By dulling the blade of tyranny I fell into great error.
By whetting the same blade I might redeem that error.
Violent disorders call for violent remedies.
Yet I am, I must remember, Old King Log.
I shall float inertly in the stagnant pool.
Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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