Essays in the Romantic Poets

Excerpt

The growth of the 'deeper mind' of a true poet is continuous and, except in tragic or cataclysmic events in his personal life, steady. This is the case because he is always a seeker of truth and always in pursuit of giving that truth not merely good but supreme expression, satisfying and pleasurable, making us indeed 'heirs'

Of truth and pure delight by heavenly lays.

However, the truth the poet is seeking is not primarily historic, or scientific, or philosophic, or religious truth, though he seeks all these, but it is the truth of experience --experiential--truth in that part of our being that is most alive and vital, that is actively engaged in adjusting the strictly personal with the totality of things; he is also seeking to render these adjustments, as he comes to them, in the phrase and literary form of finality, not to be changed or improved. He is therefore not a mere phenomenalist or dabbler, as so many seem to imply, nor is he a formalistic thinker with a closed system of thought. There is thus no standstill in him and no formal consistency; only there is the deeper consistency of constant growth, due to his unceasing efforts in adjusting the immediate personal experience with the universal, the ultimate truth 'general and operative'.

The true poet is largely subjective. Though he uses many devices to create the illusion of objectivity he really . . .

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