Anthem Of A Reluctant Prophet Essay

Anthem Of A Reluctant Prophet Essay-5
So in regard to other forms, the intellectual men do not believe in any essential dependence of the material world on thought and volition.Theologians think it a pretty air-castle to talk of the Spiritual meaning of a ship or a cloud, of a city or a contract, but they prefer to come again to the solid ground of historical evidence; and even the poets are contented with a civil and conformed manner of living, and to write poems from the fancy, at a safe distance from their own experience.

So in regard to other forms, the intellectual men do not believe in any essential dependence of the material world on thought and volition.Theologians think it a pretty air-castle to talk of the Spiritual meaning of a ship or a cloud, of a city or a contract, but they prefer to come again to the solid ground of historical evidence; and even the poets are contented with a civil and conformed manner of living, and to write poems from the fancy, at a safe distance from their own experience.

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Criticism is infested with a cant of materialism, which assumes that manual skill and activity is the first merit of all men, and disparages such as say and do not, overlooking the fact that some men, namely poets, are natural sayers, sent into the world to the end of expression, and confounds them with those whose province is action but who quit it to imitate the sayers.

But Homer's words are as costly and admirable to Homer as Agamemnon's victories are to Agamemnon.

Notwithstanding this necessity to be published, adequate expression is rare.

I know not how it is that we need an interpreter, but the great majority of men seem to be minors, who have not yet come into possession of their own, or mutes, who cannot report the conversation they have had with nature.

He stands among partial men for the complete man, and apprises us not of his wealth, but of the common wealth.

The young man reveres men of genius, because, to speak truly, they are more himself than he is.The poet is the sayer, the namer, and represents beauty. For the world is not painted or adorned, but is from the beginning beautiful; and God has not made some beautiful things, but Beauty is the creator of the universe.Therefore the poet is not any permissive potentate, but is emperor in his own right.The poet does not wait for the hero or the sage, but, as they act and think primarily, so he writes primarily what will and must be spoken, reckoning the others, though primaries also, yet, in respect to him, secondaries and servants; as sitters or models in the studio of a painter, or as assistants who bring building materials to an architect.For poetry was all written before time was, and whenever we are so finely organized that we can penetrate into that region where the air is music, we hear those primal warblings and attempt to write them down, but we lose ever and anon a word or a verse and substitute something of our own, and thus miswrite the poem.But there is some obstruction or some excess of phlegm in our constitution, which does not suffer them to yield the due effect.Too feeble fall the impressions of nature on us to make us artists. Every man should be so much an artist that he could report in conversation what had befallen him.Their knowledge of the fine arts is some study of rules and particulars, or some limited judgment of color or form, which is exercised for amusement or for show.It is a proof of the shallowness of the doctrine of beauty as it lies in the minds of our amateurs, that men seem to have lost the perception of the instant dependence of form upon soul. We were put into our bodies, as fire is put into a pan to be carried about; but there is no accurate adjustment between the spirit and the organ, much less is the latter the germination of the former.And this hidden truth, that the fountains whence all this river of Time and its creatures floweth are intrinsically ideal and beautiful, draws us to the consideration of the nature and functions of the Poet, or the man of Beauty; to the means and materials he uses, and to the general aspect of the art in the present time.The breadth of the problem is great, for the poet is representative.

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