5. The Poetic Principle (essay) In speaking of the Poetic Principle, I have no design to be either thorough or profound. While discussing, very much at random, the essentiality of what we call Poetry, my principal purpose will be to cite for consideration, some few of those minor English or American poems which best suit my own taste, or which, upon my own fancy, have left the most definite impression. By "minor poems" I mean, of course, poems of little length. And here, in the beginning, permit me to say a few words in regard to a somewhat peculiar principle, which, whether rightfully or wrongfully, has always had its influence in my own critical estimate of the poem. I hold that a long poem does not exist. I maintain that the phrase, "a long poem," is simply a flat contradiction in terms.
I need scarcely observe that a poem deserves its title only inasmuch as it excites, by elevating the soul. The value of the poem is in the ratio of this elevating excitement. But all excitements are, through a psychal necessity, transient. That degree of excitement which would entitle a poem to be so called at all, cannot be sustained throughout a composition of any great length. After the lapse of half an hour, at the very utmost, it flags fails a revulsion ensues and then the poem is, in effect, and in fact, no longer such.
6. To -- (i) I heed not that my earthly lot
Hath--little of Earth in it,
That years of love have been forgot
7. Old English Poetry (essay) It should not be doubted that at least one-third of the affection with which we regard the elder poets of Great Britain should be attributed to what is, in itself, a thing apart from poetry we mean to the simple love of the antique and that, again, a third of even the proper poetic sentiment inspired by their writings should be ascribed to a fact which, while it has strict connection with poetry in the abstract, and with the old British poems themselves, should not be looked upon as a merit appertaining to the authors of the poems.
Almost every devout admirer of the old bards, if demanded his opinion of their productions,would mention vaguely, yet with perfect sincerity, a sense of dreamy,wild, indefinite, and he would perhaps say, indefinable delight; on being required to point out the source of this so shadowy pleasure, he would be apt to speak of the quaint in phraseology and in general handling. This quaintness is, in fact, a very powerful adjunct to ideality, but in the case in question it arises independently of the author's will, and is altogether apart from his intention.
8. To -- (iii) Not long ago, the writer of these lines,
In the mad pride of intellectuality,
Maintained "the power of words", denied that ever
9. Sonnet - To Zante Fair isle, that from the fairest of all flowers,
Thy gentlest of all gentle names dost take!
How many memories of what radiant hours
10. To-- ( Ii ) The bowers whereat, in dreams, I see
The wantonest singing birds,
11. Sonnet: To Science Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art!
Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet's heart,
12. Eureka - A Prose Poem (an Essay On The Material And Spiritual Universe) It is with humility really unassumed, it is with a sentiment even of awe, that I pen the opening sentence of this work: for of all conceivable subjects I approach the reader with the most solemn, the most comprehensive, the most difficult, the most august.
What terms shall I find sufficiently simple in their sublimity -- sufficiently sublime in their simplicity, for the mere enunciation of my theme?
13. Sonnet - Silence There are some qualities, some incorporate things,
That have a double life, which thus is made
A type of that twin entity which springs
14. To Helen ( Ii ) Helen, thy beauty is to me
Like those Nicean barks of yore,
That gently, o'er a perfumed sea,
15. To -- (iv) The bowers whereat, in dreams, I see
The wantonest singing birds,
Are lips, and all thy melody
16. To The Lake In spring of youth it was my lot
To haunt of the wide world a spot
The which I could not love the less,
17. Al Aaraaf: Part 2 High on a mountain of enamell'd head,
Such as the drowsy shepherd on his bed
Of giant pasturage lying at his ease,
All the hills and vales along
Earth is bursting into song,
And the singers are the chaps
Who are going to die perhaps.
O sing, marching men,
Till the valleys ring again.
Give your gladness to earth's keeping,
So be glad, when you are sleeping.
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