Green Room FB and Twitter Header

The Breath and Finer Spirit

 

Poetry is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge; it is the impassioned expression which is in the countenance of all Science. Emphatically may it be said of the Poet, as Shakespeare hath said of man, ‘that he looks before and after.’ He is the rock of defence for human nature; an upholder and preserver, carrying everywhere with him relationship and love. In spite of difference of soil and climate, of language and manners, of laws and customs: in spite of things silently gone out of mind, and things violently destroyed; the Poet binds together by passion and knowledge the vast empire of human society, as it is spread over the whole earth, and over all time. The objects of the Poet’s thoughts are everywhere; though the eyes and senses of man are, it is true, his favourite guides, yet he will follow wheresoever he can find an atmosphere of sensation in which to move his wings. Poetry is the first and last of all knowledge—it is as immortal as the heart of man. If the labours of Men of science should ever create any material revolution, direct or indirect, in our condition, and in the impressions which we habitually receive, the Poet will sleep then no more than at present; he will be ready to follow the steps of the Man of science, not only in those general indirect effects, but he will be at his side, carrying sensation into the midst of the objects of the science itself. The remotest discoveries of the Chemist, the Botanist, or Mineralogist, will be as proper objects of the Poet’s art as any upon which it can be employed, if the time should ever come when these things shall be familiar to us, and the relations under which they are contemplated by the followers of these respective sciences shall be manifestly and palpably material to us as enjoying and suffering beings. If the time should ever come when what is now called science, thus familiarized to men, shall be ready to put on, as it were, a form of flesh and blood, the Poet will lend his divine spirit to aid the transfiguration, and will welcome the Being thus produced, as a dear and genuine inmate of the household of man.

 

William Wordsworth

Preface to the Lyrical Ballads

Comments

 
No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Tuesday, 23 July 2024

Captcha Image

Writing For Life

We are a small, friendly community who value writing as a tool for developing a brighter understanding of the world and humanity. We share our passions and experiences with one another and with a public readership. ‘Guest’ comments are welcome. No login is required. In Social Media we are happy to include interesting articles by other writers on any of the themes below. Enjoy!


Latest Blogs

  Celebrating the birth on June 26th, 1914, of Laurie Lee, a few weeks before the outbreak of World War I. After that, there was no returnin...
  THE LAKE ISLE OF INNISFREE I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;Nine bean-rows...
I am re-reading Richard Ellman's fine biography of W. B. Yeats. Unlike so many biographies, even by Ellmann (see Joyce and Wilde), this one is fa...

Latest Comments

Ken Hartke Farthest Horizons and Lost Books
19 July 2024
I might add my name with "If found, please return to..." My daughter is a museum curator/archivist ...
Rosy Cole Farthest Horizons and Lost Books
19 July 2024
Hunting lost books is one of those lesser rites of passage among those of a very certain age. Your i...
Rosy Cole Montmartre 2023
19 July 2024
Quite apart from the extra crowds, sports events seem to bring out the worst in folk. Nationalism te...
Ken Hartke Montmartre 2023
18 July 2024
I had a mixed experience in Paris and need a better approach and expectation. After some thought, I ...
Rosy Cole LandSea Divide
27 June 2024
I've been at it for half a century, Nicholas, and I'm still learning! :-) Truly. It was always my ho...