I will incline mine ear to the parable, and shew my dark speech upon the harpfrom Psalm 49
I do! If the sentiment in a poem isn't something anyone could feel, it isn't useful to anyone but the poet. A poem should speak to everyone -- or, at least, to many.Also, the ideas of the "average man" are the ones that have the best chance of being truly human.Heeding your quote, and remembering that "brevitas est anima eloquentiae," I'll call that enough from me for the moment--though I have strong opinions on the subject and could probably go on much longer.
Thank you, Sheila -- and feel free to flout the directive of my combox quote, as I detect no stultitia in your sermones!But I think a poem, even to be appreciated by the average man, must (should?) contain some unusual element, some unique perception, that the average man might not have thought of. Francis Thompson was quoted here earlier; think of his conception of Deity as a hound! Not something most of us would have come up with.I certainly believe that any self-styled "art" that sets out to mock the conceptions of the average man is probably not art at all. Having said that, I think also that art which consciously tries to gauge the sentiment of the average man and cater to that, might also be doomed to failure.I'm something of a scatterbrain, and am doubtless expressing myself poorly, but there is something that I resist in the great man's pronouncement.
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