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Percy Bysshe Shelley.

A defense of poetry; online

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which are effected by the creative imagination, 6 317 17.

2. The fame of other artists and originators inferior to that of
poets, 7 1732.

F. Poetry rhythmical, but not necessarily metrical, 7 3310 7.

1. Translation of poetry impossible, since its music can never
be reproduced, 8 825.

2. Distinction between poets and prose writers a vulgar
error, 8 269 33.



84 ANAL YSIS.

3. Creative poets and persuasive original philosophers prac-
tically identical, 9 3310 7.
G. Superiority of poetry to history, 10 811 12.

I. But the fragments of a history may be poetical, 1033
1112.

II. The Effects of Poetry, 11 1333 26.

A. Poetry gives delight, 11 16-12 7.

B. Poetry is an instrument of moral improvement, 12 713 14.

I. And this notwithstanding the moral conventionalities of
his time and place, which the poet cannot help observing,

12 19-13 14.

C. Poetry more efficacious for good than moral philosophy,

13 15-15 4.

I. But poets must not moralize, in the restricted sense,

14 21-15 4.

D. Historical review of European poetry, 15 5 33 26.

1. Grecian poetry, 15 523 22.

a. The perfection of the lyric and the drama at Athens

will serve as the index of Athenian greatness in
general, 15 521 8.
aa. The Athenian drama in the main superior to

every other, 16 6 17 30.

a. Reservation in favor of tragicomedy; King
Lear the most perfect specimen of dra-
matic art in the world, 17 2 30.
bb. The degeneracy of the drama always connected
with the elimination of its poetry, 17 31
218.
a. The ennobling effects of the drama at its

best estate, 18 1219 12.

B. The decay of the drama accompanies the
decay of social life; the Restoration plays
are an example, 19 1320 20.
y. Necessity of regenerating the drama when
it has been debased, 20 2121 8.

b. Inferiority of the Alexandrian writers, though creative

imagination is not yet wholly extinct, 21 923 22.

2. Roman poetry, 23 2325 5.

a. Poetry an exotic at Rome, 23 2324 17.

b. The Romans excelled rather in the poetry of action,

24 17-25 5.



ANAL YSIS. 85

3. Poetry under Christian influences, 25 633 26.

a. Christianity the cosmical principle of a world other-

wise anarchic, 25 6-19.

b. Effect of Hebrew poetry upon that of Christianity,

25 20-25.

c. The darkness of the Middle Ages results from the ob-

scuration of the poetic principle, 25 25 27 6.

d. Efflorescence of Christian poetry about the eleventh

century, 27 728 1.

e. The abolition of slavery and the emancipation of

woman, 28 1-15.

f. Poetry revives among the Provencals and with Pe-

trarch, 28 15-31.

g. Dante the great poet of purified and exalted love,

28 31-29 19.
h. Italian, English, Spanish, and French exponents of this

new poetry, 29 19-32.
i. The strength of their insight made Dante and Milton

superior to their times, that is, heretical in some

of their views, 29 3331 27.
j. Dante and Milton stand respectively second and third

among epic poets, not even Virgil being worthy of

so exalted a place, much less Ariosto, Tasso, Camo-

ens, or Spenser, 31 2832 14.

k. Dante the leader of Italian reformers, poets, and hu-
manists; the successive unfoldings of poetic truth,

32 15-33 15.
/. Italian poetry caused a revival of the other arts, and of

English literature, 33 16-21.

III. The Superiority of Poetry to Science and Political Philosophy,
33 27-40 13.

A. Two species of utility, corresponding to two kinds of pleasure',

the higher producing a pleasure durable, universal, and
permanent, the lower a pleasure transitory and particular,
33 2734 17.

B. The mere reasoner useful in a limited sense, yet he must

beware of exceeding his appointed limits, 34 18 35 11.

C. Poets and poetical philosophers produce the higher pleas-

ure, though one that is inseparable from pain, 35 12
364.



86 ANAL YSIS.

D. The world could have dispensed with critics, reasoners, and

political philosophers, but never with poets, 36 5-33.

E. At present, calculation has outrun conception, and deeds do

not keep pace with knowledge, 37 138 2.

F. Poetry would give us an enlarged power over things, 38 3-15.

G. Poetry the centre, the life, the essence of all science, 38 16

395.
H. Poetry incapable of being produced at will, 39 540 13.

IV. The Diviner Sources and Effects of Poetry, 40 1444 27.

A. Poets visited by transient inspirations, which, in recording,

they transmute into immortal benefits to mankind, 40 14
41 21.

B. Poetry exorcises evil, enhances beauty, reconciles contradic-

tions, banishes the commonplace, and creates the world
anew, 41 2242 24.

C. The poet, as poet, is the happiest, best, wisest, and most illus-

trious of men, 42 25 43 31.

1. But as man, being more susceptible to pain and pleasure,
he is more sorely tempted than others, 43 32 44 23.

2. Still, the purely evil passions have little control over him,
44 24-27.

V. Concluding Observations, 44 2846 32.

A. Digression concerning the particular occasion of the essay,

44 2845 20.

B. Announcement of a second part, to be a defense of modern

poetry in particular, 45 21-26.

C. This poetry likely to be the precursor of a new spiritual awak-

ening to England, 45 2646 3.

D. Poets the unconscious heralds of larger dispensations, 46 4-32.



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Online LibraryPercy Bysshe ShelleyA defense of poetry; → online text (page 9 of 9)