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As Cecil Lang writes, the letters "may well be the finest portrait of an age and of a person, representing the main movements of mind and of events of nearly half a century and at the same time revealing the intimate life of the participant-observer, in any collection of letters in the nineteenth century, possibly in existence. Volume 1 begins with an account of the Arnold children by their father, headmaster of Rugby School. The letters show Arnold as a precocious schoolboy, doted on and remonstrated by his extended family; as a foppish Oxonian; as a young man enjoying the pleasures of Paris and working at a perfect and undemanding job; then as a new husband in an imperfect, too-demanding job; as Professor of Poetry at Oxford; and finally as an emergent European critic.

As Cecil Lang writes in his engaging and spacious introduction, "Arnold learned to live with a boring, demanding, underpaid, unrewarding occupation largely because—questing intellectual, husband and father, school inspector, clubbable man-about-town and cosmopolite-about-Europe and America, hunter, fisherman, skater, voracious reader—he lived to learn.

It is entirely clear from volumes 1 and 2 that Lang has pulled off yet another triumph or industry, wisdom, and precision The letters that do survive have now been edited respectfully but not pedantically, and with a light touch that Arnold would have relished. Arnold altogether, we feel sure, would have approved of Cecil Lang.

The book is a model of the kind of careful, loving scholarship that demands years of work, the kind of scholarship denigrated by people who whip out a new book of High Theory every year.. I cannot think of anything that could restore humanity to Arnold's idea of the canon more than the volume of his letters in the years In Lang's expert hands Arnold emerges as a Stendhalian observer of the major European tendencies of his time.


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He is also seen in his non-Stendhalian capacities as a devoted friend and family member, as engaged social critic and hardworking civil servant, as poet, nature-lover, and Francophile. Cecil Y. University of Virginia Press P. Skip to main content. Matthew Arnold. Absolutely, we still had some lakes! But one winter, back in Detroit, I had one student who opened a door and died. It was the front door to his house, but it could have been any door, and the bullet could have written any name.

A Letter To Matthew McConaughey For Supporting Our Autism Community

The shooter was thirteen years old and was aiming at someone else. There were many. The classroom of grief had far more seats than the classroom for math though every student in the classroom for math could count the names of the dead. A kid opens a door. This is how we know what type of assault rifle a man can be, and how we discover the hell that thrums inside each of them. It was a school, a movie theater, a parking lot. The world is full of doors. And you, whom I cannot save, you may open a door and enter a meadow, or a eulogy.

And if the latter, you will be mourned, then buried in rhetoric.

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There will be monuments of legislation, little flowers made from red tape. What should we do? The earth will close like a door above you. Matthew Olzmann The Replica digs his right elbow into his left thigh, his chin into his right fist, and then he thinks as hard as his maker will allow. Garden of Bees The narcissus grows past the towers.

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Eight gypsy sisters spread their wings in the garden. Their gold teeth are unnerving. Every single baby is asleep. They want a little money and I give them less. I'm charming and handsome. They take my pen. I buy the poem from the garden of bees for one euro.

A touch on the arm. A mystery word. The sky has two faces. For reasons unaccountable my hand trembles. In Roman times if they were horrified of bees they kept it secret. Matthew Rohrer Academy of American Poets Educator Newsletter. Teach This Poem. Follow Us. Find Poets. Read Stanza. Jobs for Poets. Materials for Teachers.

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The Walt Whitman Award. James Laughlin Award.

Ambroggio Prize.