On Teaching the Young

By Yvor Winters 1900–1968 Yvor Winters
The young are quick of speech.
Grown middle-aged, I teach
Corrosion and distrust,
Exacting what I must.

A poem is what stands
When imperceptive hands,
Feeling, have gone astray.
It is what one should say.

Few minds will come to this.
The poet’s only bliss
Is in cold certitude—
Laurel, archaic, rude.

Yvor Winters, “On Teaching the Young” from The Selected Poems of Yvor Winters, edited by R. L. Barth. Used by permission of Ohio University
Press, Athens, Ohio.

Source: The Collected Poems of Yvor Winters (1960)

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Poet Yvor Winters 1900–1968

Subjects Midlife, Arts & Sciences, Living, School & Learning, Youth, Activities, Poetry & Poets

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Couplet

 Yvor  Winters

Biography

Allen Tate once commented on Yvor Winters the poet thus: "If he has been neglected—when he has not been ignored—the reasons are not hard to find. He has conducted a poetic revolution all his own that owes little or nothing to the earlier revolution of Pound and Eliot, and that goes back to certain great, likewise neglected Tudor poets for metrical and stylistic models." Winters commented to Contemporary Authors: "Tate is wrong . . .

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SUBJECT Midlife, Arts & Sciences, Living, School & Learning, Youth, Activities, Poetry & Poets

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Couplet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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