I wish our clever young poets would remember my homely definitions of prose and poetry that is prose words in their best orderpoetry the best words in the best order.
Poetry the best words in the best order.
Poetry is certainly something more than good sense, but it must be good sense at all events just as a palace is more than a house, but it must be a house, at least.
A poet ought not to pick nature's pocket. Let him borrow, and so borrow as to repay by the very act of borrowing. Examine nature accurately, but write from recollection, and trust more to the imagination than the memory.
In nature there is nothing melancholy
O lady! We receive but what we give And in our life alone does Nature live.
Our conversations turned frequently on the two cardinal points of poetry, the power of exciting the sympathy of the reader by a faithful adherence to the truth of nature, and the power of giving the interest of novelty by the modifying colours of imagination.
Now Art, used collectively for painting, sculpture, architecture and music, is the mediatress between, and reconciler of, nature and man. It is, therefore, the power of humanizing nature, of infusing the thoughts and passions of man into everything which is the object of his contemplation.
Taste is the intermediate faculty which connects the active with the passive powers of our nature, the intellect with the senses; and its appointed function is to elevate the images of the latter, while it realizes the ideas of the former.