nobly disheveled

Any bright young man can be taught to be artful. It is impossible to teach taste, but you can teach most anybody caution. It is always the lesser artists who are artful, they must learn their trade by rote. They must be careful never to make false steps, never to speak out of a carefully synthesized character. The greatest poetry is nobly disheveled. At least it never shows the scars of taking care.

—Kenneth Rexroth, introduction to D.H. Lawrence: Selected Poems


Anonymous said...

I love this quote and am now stealing it for my commonplace book... ambling, disheveled, maybe a little drunk as it should be.

JforJames said...

I was in the habit of skipping the introductions to books of poems. Then Jack Gilbert mentioned this line from Rexroth's intro to the Lawrence's Selected. Since then the quote has been important to me and now I read introductions.