Walter Savage Landor (1775-1864) English poet

Walter Savage Landor was born in Ipsley Court, Warwickshire, on January 30, 1775. Also known as essayist, he was educated at Oxford University. After a quarrel with his father he moved to Wales, where he wrote the epic poem Gebir (1798).

The poet spent the middle and most productive years of his life in Italy, where he wrote the greater portion of his voluminous prose work Imaginary Conversations (1824-53), consisting of nearly 150 dialogues between notables both ancient and modern. Landor's verse ranges from the epic to the epigrammatic, including many lyrics of great simplicity and intensity. He is a well-known example of four-footed verse poets. His other works include Pericles and Aspasia (1836), Hellenics (1847), and Heroic Idylls (1863), all based on ancient Greek history. He died on September 17, 1864 in Florence.

A fine depiction of Walter Savage Landor's character, personality and importance was produced by fellow literary inspiration Ralph Waldo Emerson:

We shall have no bad picture of Walter Savage Landor, who may stand as a favorable impersonation of the genius of his countrymen at the present day. A sharp dogmatic man with a great deal of knowledge, a great deal of worth, and a great deal of pride, with a profound contempt for all that he does not understand, a master of all elegant learning and capable of the utmost delicacy of sentiment, and yet prone to indulge a sort of ostentation of coarse imagery and language. His partialities and dislikes are by no means calculable, but are often whimsical and amusing; yet they are quite sincere, and, like those of Johnson and Coleridge, are easily separable from the man. What he says of Wordsworth, is true of himself, that he delights to throw a clod of dirt on the table, and cry, "Gentlemen, there is a better man than all of you."

Mr. Landor is one of the foremost of that small class who make good in the nineteenth-century the claims of pure literature. In these busy days of avarice and ambition, when there is so little disposition to profound thought, or to any but the most superficial intellectual entertainments, a faithful scholar receiving from past ages the treasures of wit, and enlarging them by his own love, is a friend and consoler of mankind.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Uncollected Prose. Dial Essays (1841): Walter Savage Landor

A selected list of Landor poetry by Representative Poetry On-line (

This was my Random Node Nodeshell Rescue contribution for the day

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