The Necessity of Poetry: An Address Given to the Tredegar & District Co-Operative Society, Nov. 22, 1917

The Necessity of Poetry: An Address Given to the Tredegar & District Co-Operative Society, Nov. 22, 1917

The Necessity of Poetry: An Address Given to the Tredegar & District Co-Operative Society, Nov. 22, 1917

The Necessity of Poetry: An Address Given to the Tredegar & District Co-Operative Society, Nov. 22, 1917

Excerpt

I am here to talk about Poetry, and you little think how surprised you ought to be. I have refused many invitations to lecture on Poetry: but most of us now-a-days are doing what we most dislike, and it has come about that I have myself chosen the subject.

Let me explain why an artist is unwilling to discourse on his own art. The fact is that in every art it is only the formal side which can be formulated; and that is not what people congregate to hear about, when they call for Art-lectures. The grammar of any art is dry and unintelligible to the layman: it seems unrelated to the magic of its delight. In Poetry it is even deemed beneath the dignity of a poet to betray any consciousness of such detail. But, if you bid the artist leave this dull and solid ground to expatiate on Beauty, you invite him on to a field where speculations appear to him fanciful and unsound: and the venture cannot rashly be indulged in.

However here I am; and I hope to give such a theoretic view of the fundamental basis of Poetry as may interest us both, and justify the claim of Poetry to that high place which is and always has been granted to it by almost universal consent in all countries and languages.

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