Robert Penn Warren, though an American author who in his later life lived in many places in the New England area, grew up in the south and was always a southern author and poet.
"It never crossed my mind when I began writing fiction that I could write about anything except life in the South. It never crossed my mind that I knew anything about anything else; know, that is, at the level you know something to write about. Nothing else ever nagged you enough to stir the imagination."
Also showing his southern prowess, Warren assumes southern writers possess a much greater range than any other writers do. Warren also loves his country, as he states in the following quote: "I'm in love with America; the funniest part is, I really am." Even though he appreciates his country, he is not afraid to criticize it, including his views on the Civil War and Vietnam War.
His creative writing process, like Walker Percy's, took a lot of time and a lot of hard work. "Don't leave a page until you have it as near as you want as you can make it that day." This scholar, teacher, poet, and author thought he was "trying" to be a writer by "inching" along, even after he was an accomplished writer with many honors. "All the study about a writer or a work, all the analysis of background or ideas or the structure of a work -- the purpose of all this is to prepare the reader to confront the work with innocence, with simplicity, and with directness." The only author to win a Pulitzer Prize in poetry and fiction, Warren states that "poetic value" changes daily. He stated that determining whether a book is "good" or not is determined by different standards every day.
There are many themes in this three time Pulitzer Prize winner's works. One theme is that historical vision is the deeper meaning of memories. A book with this as a main theme is All the Kings Men. This book reflects upon Huey Long's term as the state governor, his assassination and much more. Warren was also very interested in history, and was an encyclopedia in British and America history. Another commonly used theme is one's place in the world and his/her relationship with nature. He also explored the limits of knowledge and imagination. Additionally, many of his works had the theme of a quest for continual meanings in one's character and the outside world.
Warren's poetry became less formal and more expansive as he grew in age and experience. This great American, southern author, will be a treasured writer forever.