New Voices: An Introduction to Contemporary Poetry

New Voices: An Introduction to Contemporary Poetry

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New Voices: An Introduction to Contemporary Poetry

New Voices: An Introduction to Contemporary Poetry

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Long ago, in Jerusalem, was a pool called Bethesda. In our Bibles we find a quaint folk story of the life-giving power of this pool. From time to time an angel "troubled the waters," and then the sick and the infirm who went down first into the pool were healed of their infirmities.

Poetry is like the Pool of Bethesda. Until they have been plunged into eddies of rhythmical and imaginative beauty, many human intellects are, to a certain extent, sick and infirm. And sometimes the waters of the pool seem to be still, so that we are not aware of the divine life laboring in the spirit of the race to create waves and ripples of sound and sense by which we may be refreshed and strengthened. Then, after such periods of rest, comes the inspiration of the genius or of the group of strong singers, and the waters are "troubled." Those who go first into this life-giving movement are regenerated and rejuvenated by sharing the greatest joy of their own generation and its dynamic life. But others, fearing that they will be accused of bad taste if they take an interest in work that may not "live," stand aside, awaiting the decisive judgment of critics and scholars. For such men and women, afraid of their own taste, the waters are never troubled; and, as a result of their procrastination, their intellectual hauteur, they miss the invigorating gladness of hearing the greatest singers of their own period.

Ten years ago, in this country, the waters were still. Many educated persons supposed that poetry had died an unnatural death with the passing of Tennyson. In spite of the fact that . . .

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