The realistic revolt in modern poetry

9780217057233: The realistic revolt in modern poetry

This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1922 edition. Excerpt: ...the realists have an emotion--it is usually a phase of boredom--too often it is one which, by its very nature, cannot be communicated, a flitting sense-impression of which nothing can be made. It is only occasionally, as in the amusing and intelligent realism of Mr. Harold Monro's Journey and Solitude, that emotions or impressions, never before described, are truly handed on. Far oftener we find that, though the idea may be clear enough to the artist, he cannot, by reason of its peculiarity to himself, make it intelligible to the reader. It is not the science and the descriptions of modern town life which we dislike in the verse of the realists; the true poet, as Whitman and Mr. Kipling have shown, can weave "his spell Where heart-blood beat or hearth smoke curled, With unconsidered miracle." We do object to the subordination of poetry to science and the dull actualities. Poetry takes as its dominion all things and should be the slave of none. But, "What be those two shapes high over the sacred fountain, Taller than all the Muses, and huger than all the mountain? On those two known peaks they stand ever-spreading and heightening; Poet, that evergreen laurel is blasted by more than lightning! Look, in their deep double shadows the crown'd ones all disappearing! Sing like a bird and be happy, nor hope for a deathless hearing! 'Sounding for ever and ever?' pass on! the sight confuses--These are Astronomy and Geology, terrible Muses!" wrote the poet of Victorianism thirty years ago and all we can do now is to include Psychology and Engineering among the terrible Muses. Science, it is true, has always been part of the background of literature, as in Dante and Donne: but their science was traditional; it served for illustration, not for theme, and an...

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