Notes Toward & So On (9)

If, then, we follow the logic of the Addendum below... poetry includes realia - symbolic facts, factual symbols - with something of a different purpose than does history.

History recounts the truths of what happened on behalf of knowledge & its truth.

Poetry transmits its truths so that it may suffuse them with feeling. Emotional truth.

Oh-oh. This sounds like another pitfall. There were lots of intellectual propounders of the last 2 centuries who were eager to limit poetry to "feeling" (while serious grown-up minds focused on the "thought" of reality - scientific, political, social, etc).

Which brings us full circle, back to the substance of the poetic image - that fusion of intellect and feeling, head & heart - that sense of things, around and about the borders of which Coleridge, Blake, Dickinson, Whitman, Hopkins, Eliot, Stevens & so many others wrote with such authority, with the ring of emotional rightness.

addendum #2: & this still doesn't get it right. Because art also presents symbolic facts as a form of mimesis - perhaps at least as accurate, exact & true, in its way, as any other form of discourse.

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