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POETRY AS A REPRESENTATIVE ART.
POETRY AND PRIMITIVE LANGUAGE.
Introduction-All Art Representative-Poetry an Artistic Development of
Language-Language Representative of Mental Processes through Material Sounds or Symbols—Primitive Words are developed according to Principles of Association and Comparison, partly Instinctive, through Ejaculations ; partly Reflective, through Imitative Sounds—This Theory need not be carried too far-How Language is a Gift from GodAgreement with Reference to Ejaculatory and Imitative Sounds would form a Primitive Language-This Book to show how Language, and hence, how Poetic Language, can represent
Thought, by pointing out, first, how SOUNDS represent Thought in Primitive and then in Poetic Words and Intonations and, second, how Sounds accepted as Words are used in Different SENSES, and how these Represent Thought in Conventional and then in Poetic Words and Phrases—Sounds represent Thought both in Single Words and in Consecutive Intonations-Elocution, the Interpreter of Sounds used Consecutively-Representing that Blending and Balancing of Instinctive and Reflective Tendencies, which express
the Emotive Nature. WORDSWORTH, in one of his finest passages, says of the results of his studies in poetry:
I have learned
. And I have felt
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
-Lines Composed a few Miles above Tintern Abbey.
How many are there who have learned for themselves this lesson - undoubtedly a
undoubtedly a valuable one of which Wordsworth speaks? How many are there who can apprehend clearly his meaning in what he says of it? How many are there who can discover in themselves any important addition to their mental or moral development that has been due to poetry, or who can appreciate fully its best thought, if at all subtle in its nature, even though presented in the best possible form ? That in our day there are very few of these, is only too apparent to any competent judge of the subject who questions the leaders in our literary circles, who reads the verses in our magazines, who examines the criticisms in our reviews, or who listens to the accounts of what students of poetry are taught in our schools. Yet in his “Defence of Poesy" Sir Philip Sidney tells us that this art “is of all other learnings the most ancient,—that from whence all other learnings have taken their beginnings,-and so universal that no learned nation doth despise it ; nor no barbarous nation is without it." Bailey says that:
Poetry is itself a thing of God.