Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Slops v. Poetry

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals (September-October 1847):
When people tell me they do not like poetry, and bring me Shelley or Hemans, to show that it is not likeable, I am entirely of their mind. But this only proves that they do not like slops. But I bring them Homer, and they like that, & the Cid, and that goes well; and I read them Lear & Macbeth, Robin Hood's ballads, or Lady Jane, or Fair Annie, or the Hardy Knute or Chevy Chase, or the Cronachs cried on Bennachie, and they like that well enough. For this poetry instead of being daubs of colour, and mere mouthing, is out of the deep breast of man.
Related post: The Popular View of Poetry and Poets.

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