Tuesday, October 12, 2010

the spirit of poetry

While serving the Unitarian Church in Springfield, Rev. William B.O. Peabody contributed articles on a wide variety of topics (including trees, insects, birds, literary reviews etc...) and poetry to "The North American Review."  A selection of these offerings were collected in the volume, "LITERARY REMAINS OF THE LATE  WILLIAM B. 0. PEABODY, D.D."  This an excerpt of his review of the book:

"Studies in Poetry; embracing Notices of the Lives and Writings of the best Poets in the English Language, a copious Selection of Elegant Extracts, a short Analysis of Hebrew Poetry, and Translations from the Sacred Poets ; designed to illustrate the Principles of Rhetoric, and teach their Application to Poetry. By George B. Cheever. Boston, 1830."  (They don't name em like that any more...)

(After  reviewing statements concerning the decline of poetry, Peabody writes)

"Even if the justness of these complaints be admitted, they would only prove, that the most delightful music is at all times heard with difficulty amidst the din and crash of the enginery of practical life. The spirit of poetry is still present with him who meditates at eventide; with the worshipper of nature in her solitary places; with the contemplative in their high and lonely tower; with him who is rapt and inspired by devotion ; and, even if it be driven from the haunts of crowded life, it still speaks to the soul in tones as thrilling and divine as ever."


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