chapter  3
6 Pages

The Language of Criticism

Poetry, like life, is one thing.... Essentially a continuous sub­ stance or energy, poetry is historically a connected movement, a series of successive integrated manifestations. Each poet, from Homer or the predecessors of Homer to our own day, has been, to some degree and at some point, the voice of the movement and energy of poetry; in him, poetry has for the moment become visible, audible, incarnate; and his extant poems are the record left of that partial and transitory incarnation-The progress of poetry, with its vast power and exalted function, is immortal.1