Thursday, October 4, 2012

In Acknowledgment ~ The Poet

The Harvard Classics. 1909–14. 

A Defence of Poetry ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

"... But poets, or those who imagine and express this indestructible order, are not only the authors of language and of music, of the dance, and architecture, and statuary, and painting: they are the institutors of laws, and the founders of civil society, and the inventors of the arts of life, and the teachers, who draw into a certain propinquity with the beautiful and the true that partial apprehension of the agencies of the invisible world. Poets, according to the circumstances of the age and nation in which they appeared, were called, in the earlier epochs of the world, legislators, or prophets: a poet essentially comprises and unites both these characters. For he not only beholds intensely the present as it is, and discovers those laws according to which present things ought to be ordered, but he beholds the future in the present, and his thoughts are the germs of the flower and the fruit of latest time..." A Defence of Poetry, Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792 – 1822.

Source: A Defence of Poetry. Percy Bysshe Shelley. 1909-14. English Essays: Sidney to Macaulay. The Harvard Classics ~ Full text available at:


  1. i saw the shelley exhibit in NYC this year...not big but they gave out these little cards with his quotes on them....i keep them near...

  2. Hello Brian,

    I find great solace in this presentation ... feel the passion of his perceptions... reading the entire essay is a pure delight ... ENJOY... we who fill our playpen with words can most certainly hold Shelley in celebration,. Best always to you and yours.