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CONTENTS · GENERAL INDEX · QUICK INDEX · SONGS & LYRICS · BIOGRAPHIES
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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Of Poetry
By Joseph Joubert (1754–1824)
 
Translation of Thomas Wentworth Higginson

POETS have a hundred times more good sense than philosophers. In seeking what is beautiful, they find more truths than philosophers in seeking what is true.  1
 
  Poets are more inspired by the images of objects than even by their presence.  2
 
  The poet should not traverse at a walk an interval which might be cleared at a bound.  3
 
  In the poetic style every word resounds like the twang of a lyre well strung, and leaves after it a number of undulations.  4
 
  Like the nectar of the bee, which turns to honey the dust of flowers, or like that liquor which converts lead into gold, the poet has a breath that fills out words, gives them light and color. He knows wherein consists their charm, and by what art enchanted structures may be built with them.  5
 
  To fill an old word with new meaning, of which usage or age had emptied it, so to speak,—this is not innovation, it is rejuvenation. We enrich languages by digging into them. They should be treated like fields: to make them fertile in old age, they must be stirred at great depths.  6
 
  Before employing a beautiful word, make a place for it.  7
 
 
CONTENTS · GENERAL INDEX · SONGS & LYRICS · BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY
READER’S DIGEST · STUDENT’S COURSE · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
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