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POETRY AS A REPRESENTATIVE ART.

CHAPTER I.

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
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth ; but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity.

. And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy

Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean, and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things.

-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.
He made his prophets poets, and the more
We feel of poesy do we become
Like God in love and power.

- Festus.

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