THE NATURE OF THE EVIDENCE
In the preceding chapter I undertook to make clear the significance of imagery as a key to the creative imagination. It remains now to indicate by what methods it may be collected, classified, and made to yield its secrets. In these directions Professor Spurgeon has taken a number of important steps and her study of Shakespeare throws light at several points on the basic problems of the approach to creative sources through the content of imagery. We are dealing, however, with the pure stuff of imagination, with materials as peculiar to each writer as his personality; and we may expect each to present new problems and require vital adaptations in approach and procedure.
The first step, the actual collection of images, necessitates a moment's consideration of the scope of the term itself.* Since our main interest is in content and source, we may ignore almost completely the distinctions which have been set up among the various types of figures. Whether it be simile--
And yet no greater, but more eminent,
Love by the Spring in growne;
As, in the firmament,
Starres by the Sunne are not inlarg'd, but showne,