stanley rosen in the leo strauss days


By the time I arrived in Chicago, my vocation had shifted from fiction to poetry. If I am not mistaken, I was the only one of Leo Strauss’s long-term students who came to him from poetry. I was also virtually uninterested at the time in politics, unlike the majority of Strauss’s students. Instead, I was an avowed meta-physician, who had elaborated a philosophical position partly influenced by T. S. Eliot, one of whose main tenets was that philosophy and poetry are two different languages about the same world. In addition to these intellectual propensities, which most of Strauss’s students regarded as deficiencies, I was undisciplined in the academic sense and spent most of my time writing poetry, with some professional success and with reasonable hopes for future progress. These hopes were sustained by Hayden Carruth, who was then the editor of Poetry Magazine, and Henry Rago, who was about to assume that position, but also by Allen Tate, who taught in the College for a year.

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