That poem of Browning owes much of its haunting charm to this very circumstance, that the reader is never told who Childe Roland is, or why he wants to get to the Dark Tower, or what he expects to find when he does get there. There is a skillfully constructed atmosphere of Giants, and Ogres, and Hunchbacks, and the rest of the apparatus of fairy-tales; but there is no trace of the influence of Bædeker in the style. Now this is really very irritating to anybody who happens to be seriously concerned to get to that tower. I remember, as a boy, what misery I suffered over this poem. Had Browning been alive, I think I would have sought him out, so seriously did I take the Quest.
Aleister Crowley, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Liber LXXI, The Voice of the Silence
The passionate ecstasy that engendered his poetry was excited by the stark, pagan purity of his sensuality, which found its talismanic representation in the tower struck by lightning.
Susan Johnston Graf, W B Yeats Twentieth Century Magus
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