US administrator, dramatist, and poet
wrote poetry collections "The Pot of Earth" 1925, "Collected Poems, 1917-1952" 1952 (Pulitzer Prize for poetry 1953), narrative poem "Conquistador" 1932 (Pulitzer Prize for poetry 1933), verse play "J. B." 1958 (Pulitzer Prize for drama 1959)
librarian of Congress 1939-1944
assistant secretary of state for public and cultural relations 1944-1945
Bollingen Prize 1952
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- "The one man who should never attempt an explanation of a poem is its author. If the poem can be improved by it's author's explanations it never should have been published, and if the poem cannot be improved by its author's explanations the explanations are scarcely worth reading."
- "Once you permit those who are convinced of their own superior rightness to censor and silence and suppress those who hold contrary opinions, just at that moment the citadel has been surrendered. For the American citadel is a man. Not man in general. Not man in the abstract. Not the majority of men. But man. That man. His worth. His uniqueness."
- "It is not in the world of ideas that life is lived. Life is lived for better or worse in life, and to a man in life, his life can be no more absurd than it can be the opposite of absurd, whatever that opposite may be."
- "A real writer learns from earlier writers the way a boy learns from an apple orchard-by stealing what he has a taste for and can carry off."
- "A poem should not meanBut be."