Allen Tate (November 19, 1899 - February 09, 1979)
Born: 19th November, 1899
Died: 9th February, 1979
Nationality: American
Profession/Occupation: Poet
Region: Kentucky, Nashville, Tennessee
Notable works: "The Fathers", "I'll Take My Stand", "Ode to the Confederate Dead"

Allen Tate Facts

Biography

Allen Tate, in full John Orley Allen Tate, (born November 19, 1899, Winchester, Kentucky, U.S.--died February 9, 1979, Nashville, Tennessee), American poet, teacher, novelist, and a leading exponent of the New Criticism. In both his criticism and his poetry, he emphasized the writer's need for a tradition to adhere to; he found his tradition in the culture of the conservative, agrarian South and, later, in Roman Catholicism, to which he converted in 1950.

In 1918 Tate entered Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he helped found The Fugitive (1922-25), a magazine for a group of young poets known as the Fugitives. Tate introduced the Fugitives to the poetry of T.S. Eliot, whose attitudes toward modern life and whose emphasis on the hollowness of modern man found an echo in Tate's own themes. Tate contributed to the symposium I'll Take My Stand (1930), a manifesto defending the traditional agrarian society of the South.

From 1934 Tate taught at Southwestern College in Memphis, Tennessee, the Woman's College of the University of North Carolina, Princeton University, and the University of Minnesota (1951-68). In 1943 he was named poetry consultant to the Library of Congress. He held the position, which later became known as the poet laureate consultant in poetry of the United States, for one year. Tate then joined The Sewanee Review, which acquired wide importance as a literary magazine under his editorship (1944-46).

In Tate's best-known poem, "Ode to the Confederate Dead" (first version, 1926; rev. 1930), the dead symbolize the emotions that the poet is no longer able to feel. The poems written from about 1930 to 1939 broadened this theme of disjointedness by showing its effect on society, as in the sadly ironic "The Mediterranean" (1932). In his later poems Tate suggested that only through the subjective wholeness of the individual can society itself be whole. This view emerged tentatively in "Seasons of the Soul" (1943) and confidently in "The Buried Lake" (1953), both devotional poems.

Tate's only novel, The Fathers (1938), refashioned the Jason-Medea myth to promulgate agrarian beliefs. His Collected Poems was published in 1977; Essays of Four Decades appeared in 1969.

Top 26 Allen Tate quotes

What is the poem, after it is written? That is the question. Not where it came from or why.
After
Came
Poem
Question
Where
Why
Written
We know the particular poem, not what it says that we can restate.
Know
Particular
Poem
Says
There is probably nothing wrong with art for art's sake if we take the phrase seriously, and not take it to mean the kind of poetry written in England forty years ago.
Art
England
Forty
Forty years
Kind
Mean
Nothing
Phrase
Poetry
Sake
Seriously
Take
Written
Wrong
The only real evidence that any critic may bring before his gaze is the finished poem.
Any
Before
Bring
Critic
Evidence
Finished
Gaze
His
May
Only
Poem
Real
The mission for the day is to encourage students to think beyond traditional career opportunities, prepare for future careers and entrance into the workplace.
Beyond
Career
Careers
Day
Encourage
Entrance
For the day
Future
Mission
Opportunities
Prepare
Students
Think
Traditional
So the poet, who wants to be something that he cannot be, and is a failure in plain life, makes up fictitious versions of his predicament that are interesting even to other persons because nobody is a perfect automobile salesman.
Automobile
Because
Cannot
Even
Failure
Fictitious
He
His
Interesting
Life
Makes
Nobody
Other
Perfect
Serious poetry deals with the fundamental conflicts that cannot be logically resolved: we can state the conflicts rationally, but reason does not relieve us of them.
Cannot
Conflicts
Deals
Does
Fundamental
Logically
Poetry
Rationally
Reason
Relieve
Resolved
Serious
State
Them
Religion is the sole technique for the validating of values.
Religion
Sole
Technique
Validating
Values
Poets, in their way, are practical men; they are interested in results.
Interested
Men
Poets
Practical
Results
Way
Other psychological theories say a good deal about compensation.
About
Compensation
Deal
Good
Good deal
Other
Psychological
Say
Theories
Narcissism and the Confederate dead cannot be connected logically, or even historically; even were the connection an historical fact, they would not stand connected as art, for no one experiences raw history.
Art
Cannot
Confederate
Connected
Connection
Dead
Even
Experiences
Fact
Historical
Historical fact
Historically
History
Logically
Men expect too much, do too little.
Expect
Little
Men
Much
Too
Too much
In a manner of speaking, the poem is its own knower, neither poet nor reader knowing anything that the poem says apart from the words of the poem.
Anything
Apart
Knowing
Manner
Neither
Nor
Own
Poem
Poet
Reader
Says
Speaking
Words
I believe the term modulation denotes in music the uninterrupted shift from one key to another: I do not know the term for change of rhythm without change of measure.
Another
Believe
Change
I believe
I believe the
Key
Know
Measure
Music
Rhythm
Shift
Term
Without
I am not ridiculing verbal mechanisms, dreams, or repressions as origins of poetry; all three of them and more besides may have a great deal to do with it.
Am
Besides
Deal
Dreams
Great
Great deal
I am
May
Mechanisms
More
Origins
Poetry
Them
Three
How does one happen to write a poem: where does it come from? That is the question asked by the psychologists or the geneticists of poetry.
Asked
Come
Does
Geneticist
Happen
How
Poem
Poetry
Psychologists
Question
Where
Write
Genetic theories, I gather, have been cherished academically with detachment.
Academically
Been
Cherished
Detachment
Gather
Genetic
Theories
For some reason most critics have a hard time fixing their minds directly under their noses, and before they see the object that is there they use a telescope upon the horizon to see where it came from.
Before
Came
Critics
Directly
Fixing
Hard
Hard time
Horizon
Minds
Most
Noses
Object
Reason
See
Experience means conflict, our natures being what they are, and conflict means drama.
Being
Conflict
Drama
Experience
Means
Natures
Our
Dramatic experience is not logical; it may be subdued to the kind of coherence that we indicate when we speak, in criticism, of form.
Coherence
Criticism
Dramatic
Experience
Form
Indicate
Kind
Logical
May
Speak
Subdued
But in our age the appeal to authority is weak, and I am of my age.
Age
Am
Appeal
Authority
I am
Our
Weak
At twelve I was determined to shoot only For honor; at twenty not to shoot at all; I know at thirty-three that one must shoot As often as one gets the rare chance - In killing there is more than commentary.
Chance
Commentary
Determined
Gets
Honor
Know
More
Must
Often
Only
Rare
Shoot
Than
Twelve
According to its doctors, my one intransigent desire is to have been a Confederate general, and because I could not or would not become anything else, I set up for poet and beg an to invent fictions about the personal ambitions that my society has no use for.
About
According
Ambition
Anything
Anything else
Because
Become
Been
Beg
Confederate
Could
Desire
Doctors
Else
A poem may be an instance of morality, of social conditions, of psychological history; it may instance all its qualities, but never one of them alone, nor any two or three; never less than all.
Alone
Any
Conditions
History
Instance
Less
May
Morality
Never
Nor
Poem
Psychological
Qualities
Social
The Spring I seek is in a new face only.
Face
New
Only
Seek
Spring
The innocent mansion of a panther's heart!
Heart
Innocent
Mansion
Panther

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