The Poetic Mind

The Poetic Mind

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The Poetic Mind

The Poetic Mind

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Some of the principles presented in this book are new. This I acknowledge with misgiving, for in a subject as old as poetry, where orthodox views are particularly apt to be sound, novelty is not a recommendation. Fortunately most of the principles are old, and all, I hope, rest on old foundations. Indeed I have tried to return to and develop classical views of poetry which are now somewhat out of vogue. In the main, then, old principles at most receive new interpretation and relation. A discussion, even of the present length, dealing with many aspects of the large subject of poetry, must be somewhat superficial. It would have been easier and more satisfying to completeness to apply the principles herein developed to one or two divisions of the subject. I have thought it better to carry them through several, and apply them to poetry in most of its important aspects, with the prefatory statement, however, that the treatment is introductory and provisional. Each chapter invites correction, and also demands development. Some chapters, I hope, may lead to more thorough and sagacious inquiries.

The subject undertaken--the operation of the poet's mind-- is fortunately not quite so broad as poetry itself. This limitation, however, is counterbalanced by its lying halfway between two provinces--literature on the one hand and psychology on the other. Evidently its treatment calls for a special psychological training, to which I cannot pretend, as will no doubt sufficiently appear. The subject as a whole, so far as I know, has not been attempted by the psychologists; perhaps it is a field in which they wisely fear to tread. In what follows a literary treatment is hazarded, which may in the end, I hope, prove helpful to psychology. Evidently the subject must be approached from both sides. If the student of literature lacks the . . .

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