Literary Birthday – 24 April – Robert Penn Warren

Robert Penn Warren was born 24 April 1905 and died 15 September 1989.


  1. Real writers are those who want to write, need to write, have to write.
  2. The lack of a sense of history is the damnation of the modern world.
  3. The image that fiction presents is purged of the distractions, confusions, and accidents of ordinary life.
  4. The past is always a rebuke to the present.
  5. Your business as a writer is not to illustrate virtue but to show how a fellow may move toward it or away from it.
  6. Tell me a story of deep delight.
  7. The poem . . . is a little myth of man’s capacity of making life meaningful. And in the end, the poem is not a thing we see-it is, rather, a light by which we may see-and what we see is life.
  8. A symbol serves to combine heart and intellect.
  9. The poem is not a thing we see; it is, rather, a light by which we may see.

Robert Penn Warren was an American poet, novelist, and literary critic. He explored the erosion of the South’s traditional, rural values in his writing. He won the 1947 Pulitzer Prize for the Novel for All the King’s Men 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. He became the first poet laureate of the United States in 1986.

Source for quotes

Source for image: Oscar White, Pach Brothers Studio, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons  This file is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication,_Pach_Brothers_Studio,_c._1970,_gelatin_silver_print,_from_the_National_Portrait_Gallery_-_NPG-NPG_93_388_37.jpg

 by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 23rd April 2020