Monday, January 3, 2011

My Ancient Norton Anthology: Matthew Arnold

While I’m away teaching at the Converse College Low-Residency MFA program (application deadline February 15!), I thought I’d post some of my favorite lines of poetry that I encountered during college—Norton Anthology, anyone? I’m sure you’ll recognize these poems...perhaps you’ll be inspired to reread some of your old favorites, too. (Fun fact: this edition of the Norton Anthology, purchased my freshman year, cost $9.95!)

From “Dover Beach,” by Matthew Arnold

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Read the whole poem here.

Fun fact: In an undergraduate creative writing class, I wrote a short story that I titled “Where Ignorant Armies Clash by Night.”


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.