Monday, March 31, 2014

We Cannot Escape From Poetry

"We cannot escape from poetry. We needs its power of quick communication in every casual activity . . . The very man who belittles poetry in public practices it in private . . . His dreams are poetry . . . his simplest sentences rely on the power of imagery . . . we delight to intensify a hard drizzle by saying 'it's raining cats and dogs.' . . . [A] good servant is not merely rare but 'scarce as hen's teeth,' . . . The fruit-grower . . . capitalizes the power of poetry by saying that [his oranges] are Sunkist, a conceit worthy of Elizabthan singers . . . The architect daring-ling suggests the tower of Babel with the 'skyscraper'; the man in the street intensifies his speech by tightening it into slang, the shorthand of the people, by 'crashing' a party, 'muscling' in, 'hitting' the high spots. Language is continually being made swift and powerful through the medium of the poetic phrase."

- Louis Untermeyer (a poet and critic)

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