We have taken it into our heads that to write a poem simply for the poem's sake, and to acknowledge such to have been our design, would be to confess ourselves radically wanting in the true poetic dignity and force:--but the simple fact is that would we but permit ourselves to look into our own souls we should immediately there discover that under the sun there neither exists nor can exist any work more thoroughly dignified, more supremely noble, than this very poem, this poem per se, this poem which is a poem and nothing more, this poem written solely for the poem's sake.
And thus when by Poetry, or when by Music, the most entrancing of the poetic moods, we find ourselves melted into tears, we weep then, not as the Abbate Gravina supposes, through excess of pleasure, but through a certain petulant, impatient sorrow at our inability to grasp now, wholly, here on earth, at once and for ever, those divine and rapturous joys of which through' the poem, or through the music, we attain to but brief and indeterminate glimpses.
I make Beauty, therefore--using the word as inclusive of the sublime -- I make Beauty the province of the poem, simply because it is an obvious rule of Art that effects should be made to spring as directly as possible from their causes: -- no one as yet having been weak enough to deny that the peculiar elevation in question is at least most readily attainable in the poem.
Come, read to me some poem, Some simple and heartfelt lay, That shall soothe this restless feeling, And banish the thoughts of day.
The Genealogical Poems: The only complete poem of the genealogical group is the "Theogony", which traces from the beginning of things the descent and vicissitudes of the families of the gods.
This conclusion served to link the "Theogony" to what must have been a distinct poem, the "Catalogues of Women".
At the close of the "Shield" Heracles goes on to Trachis to the house of Ceyx, and this warning suggests that the "Marriage of Ceyx" may have come immediately after the `Or such as was' of Alcmena in the "Eoiae": possibly Halcyone, the wife of Ceyx, was one of the heroines sung in the poem, and the original section was `developed' into the "Marriage", although what form the poem took is unknown.
But sometimes in Spenser's poem the reader feels too wide a divorce from reality.
The poem is a romantically luxuriant wilderness of dreamily or languorously delightful visions, often rich with all the harmonies of form and motion and color and sound.
The Faerie Queene' is the only long Elizabethan poem of the very highest rank, but Spenser, as we have seen, is almost equally conspicuous as a lyric poet.
Cartwright Bruce was described as the greatest critic in America, and he was quoted as saying that "Ephemera" was the greatest poem ever written in America.
Going through its contents, he drew forth eleven poems which his friend had written.
Yet it was not because of his own poetry that he was famous, but because he had found (so he said) some poems of a man who lived fifteen hundred years before, and translated them into English.
The Irish first of all were jealous, for they said that Ossian was an Irish poet, that the heroes of the poems were Irish, and that Macpherson was stealing their national heroes from them.
Then in England people began to say that there never had been an Ossian at all, and that Macpherson had invented both the poems and all the people that they were about.