Robert Graves on Poetry's Stubborn Perseverance

Since the age of fifteen poetry has been my ruling passion and I have never intentionally undertaken any task or formed any relationship that seemed inconsistent with poetic principles; which has sometimes won me the reputation of an eccentric. Prose has been my livelihood, but I have used it as a means of sharpening my sense of the altogether different nature of poetry, and the themes that I choose are always linked in my mind with outstanding poetic problems. At the age of sixty-five I am still amused at the paradox of of poetry's obstinate continuance in the present phase of civilization. Though recognized as a learned profession it is the only one for the study of which no academies are open and in which there is no yardstick, however crude.

Robert Graves, 1948, The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth