Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

SCOTT, FORESMAN AND COMPANY

Εις τον λειμώνα καθίσας, έδρεπεν έτερον έφ' ετέρω αιρόμενος άγρευμανθέων αδομένα ψυχα

THE STUDY OF POETRY

Poetry, the highest form of literature, is one of the arts of expression, of which painting, sculpture, architecture, and music are others. It differs from these other arts in several ways. It is less distinctly creative than music and architecture, both of which give shape, as it were, to something that did not exist in any shape before. It is less directly imitative than sculpture and painting, since these employ physical likeness of one sort or another, whereas poetry works only through the arbitrary symbols of ideas which we call words. It is thus the least vivid and least sensuous of the arts. It is also probably the narrowest in its appeal. The currency of any particular poem is limited to the currency of the language in which it is written. Ancient Greek poetry spoke fully only to the ancient Greek. If we would understand it, we must either learn its language, which we can never do perfectly, or have it translated for us with much inevitable loss of beauty and significance. This limitation holds to a certain extent in the other arts, but far less fatally. Chinese music, for

« AnteriorContinuar »