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There can be no proof that Blake's lyric is composed of the best words in the best order; only a conviction, accepted by our knowledge and judgment, that it is so.
The written word is everything.
The poet's perfect expression is the token of a perfect experience; what he says in the best possible way he has felt in the best possible way, that is, completely.
The musician - if he be a good one - finds his own perception prompted by the poet's perception, and he translates the expression of that perception from the terms of poetry into the terms of music.
So it is in poetry. All we ask is that the mood recorded shall impress us as having been of the kind that exhausts the imaginative capacity; if it fails to do this the failure will announce itself either in prose or in insignificant verse.
Poetry is the communication through words of certain experiences that can be communicated in no other way.
Poetry being the sign of that which all men desire, even though the desire be unconscious, intensity of life or completeness of experience, the universality of its appeal is a matter of course.
Poe's saying that a long poem is a sequence of short ones is perfectly just.
It should here be added that poetry habitually takes the form of verse.
It is commonly asserted and accepted that Paradise Lost is among the two or three greatest English poems; it may justly be taken as the type of supreme poetic achievement in our literature.
If it is an imperfect word, no external circumstance can heighten its value as poetry.
Great men are rare, poets are rarer, but the great man who is a poet, transfiguring his greatness, is the rarest of all events.
For while the subjects of poetry are few and recurrent, the moods of man are infinitely various and unstable. It is the same in all arts.
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