An Answer to the Question 'what is Poetry?': Including Remarks on Versification

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Ginn & Company, 1893 - Poetry - 98 pages
 

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Page 7 - Pray, do not mock me : I am a very foolish fond old man, Fourscore and upward, not an hour more nor less ; And, to deal plainly, I fear I am not in my perfect mind. Methinks I should know you, and know this man ; Yet I am doubtful : for I am mainly ignorant What place this is ; and all the skill I have Remembers not these garments ; nor I know not Where I did lodge last night. Do not laugh at me ; For, as I am a man, I think this lady To be my child Cordelia.
Page 48 - In squandering wealth was his peculiar art; Nothing went unrewarded but desert. Beggared by fools whom still he found too late, He had his jest, and they had his estate.
Page 85 - As a huge stone is sometimes seen to lie Couched on the bald top of an eminence; Wonder to all who do the same espy, By what means it could thither come, and whence; So that it seems a thing endued with sense : Like a sea-beast crawled forth, that on a shelf Of rock or sand reposeth, there to sun itself...
Page 62 - THE EPITAPH Here rests his head upon the lap of earth A youth to fortune and to fame unknown: Fair science frowned not on his humble birth, And melancholy marked him for her own. Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere, . Heaven did a recompense as largely send: He gave to misery all he had, a tear: He gained from heaven ('twas all he wished) a friend.
Page 80 - The IMAGINATION, then, I consider either as primary or secondary. The primary IMAGINATION I hold to be the living Power and prime Agent of all human Perception, and as a repetition in the finite mind of the eternal act of creation in the infinite I AM.
Page 85 - Upon the margin of that moorish flood Motionless as a cloud the old man stood, That heareth not the loud winds when they call ; And moveth altogether, if it move at all.
Page 70 - own exceeding great reward ; ' it has soothed my afflictions ; it has multiplied and refined my enjoyments ; it has endeared solitude ; and it has given me the habit of wishing to discover the good and the beautiful in all that meets and surrounds me.
Page 86 - The stone is endowed with something of the power of life to approximate it to the sea-beast; and the sea-beast stripped of some of its vital qualities to assimilate it to the stone ; which intermediate image is thus treated for the purpose of bringing the original image, that of the stone, to a nearer resemblance to the figure and condition of the aged Man; who is divested of so much of the indications of life and motion as to bring him to the point where the two objects unite and coalesce in just...
Page 82 - Poems, has no reference to images that are merely a faithful copy, existing in the mind, of absent external objects ; but is a word of higher import, denoting operations of the mind upon those objects, and processes of creation or of composition, governed by certain fixed laws.
Page 90 - But the imagination is conscious of an indestructible dominion — the soul may fall away from it, not being able to sustain its grandeur, but, if once felt and acknowledged, by no act of any other faculty of the mind can it be relaxed, impaired, or diminished. Fancy is given to quicken and to beguile the temporal part of our nature, imagination to incite and to support the eternal.

About the author (1893)

Leigh Hunt was so prolific that, if his writing were ever collected, it would exceed 100 volumes of mostly unmemorable prose. He was so eccentric and socially visible that even Dickens's caricature of Hunt as the perennially cheerful Harold Skimpole in Bleak House is immediately recognizable. But his philosophy of cheer, however eccentric among such doleful writers of his generation as Coleridge and Byron, appealed to middle-class public taste, which accounts for his immense following. Educated, like Coleridge and Lamb, at Christ's Hospital, Hunt became a journalist, helping his brother John edit the weekly Examiner. As a result of the paper's liberal policy, they were both fined and imprisoned for two years for writing a libelous description of the Prince Regent on his birthday. Hunt turned his prison cell into a salon and enjoyed visits from Jeremy Bentham, Byron, Keats, Lamb, and Hazlitt. After his release, Hunt settled in Hampstead, London, a political martyr and a model of domesticity. His writing includes The Feast of the Poets (1814), a satire of contemporary writers; The Story of Rimini (1816), a saccharine Italianate romance; and Hero and Leander (1819). Young poets such as Keats found the sensual surfaces easy to imitate. But mostly Hunt wrote essays and edited dozens of short-lived magazines and journals, providing an insight into the literary life of London during this period.

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