Our world is different, our problems are different, our lives are different today. What the classic sources provide, maybe, are not so much literary models as examples of intellectual and artistic confidence. There seem to be no problems - moral, psychological, political, artistic - which, once they became aware of them, Shakespeare & Dante & Homer & Virgil & Ben Jonson & Andrew Marvell & John Donne & "J" et al. were not willing to take on. I know this is an idealization : that's what classics are for.

(& the real hikers learn Greek, Latin, German, Ethiopian, Arabic, Chinese. & Russian, of course.)

(& K-2 poets take on cliff-like problems.)

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