Philistinism!-We have not the expression in English. Perhaps we have not the word because we have so much of the thing.
Matthew Arnold (1822 - 1888)
Source: Essays of Criticism
Contributed by: Zaady
Poetry is at bottom a criticism of life.
Genius is mainly an affair of energy, and poetry is mainly an affair of genius; therefore a nation whose spirit is characterized by energy may well be imminent in poetry - and we have Shakespeare.
And see all sights from pole to pole, And glance, and nod, and hustle by; And never once possess our soul Before we die.
Source: A Southern Night
Strew on her roses, roses, And never a spray of yew! In quiet she reposes; Ah, would that I did too!
When Byron's eyes were shut in death, We bow'd our head and held our breath. He taught us little; but our soul Had felt his like a thunder roll. . . . We watch'd the fount of fiery life Which serv'd for that Titanic life.
Source: Memorial Verses
He spoke, and loos'd our heart in tears. He laid us as we lay at birth On the cool flowery lap of earth.
Time may restore us in his course Goethe's sage mind and Byron's force: But where will Europe's latter hour Again find Wordsworth's healing power?
His expression may often be called bald . . . but it is bald as the bare mountain tops are bald, with a baldness full of grandeur.
Source: preface to Poems of Wordsworth
Nature herself seems, I say, to take the pen out of his hand, and to write for him with her own bare, sheer, penetrating power.
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