Great men are rare, poets are rarer, but the great man who is a poet, transfiguring his greatness, is the rarest of all events.
The written word is everything.
But in the finished art of the song the use of words has no connection with the use of words in poetry.
We recognise in the finished art, which is the result of these conditions, the best words in the best order – poetry; and to put this essential poetry into different classes is impossible.
Poetry is the communication through words of certain experiences that can be communicated in no other way.
If it is an imperfect word, no external circumstance can heighten its value as poetry.
Poetry being the sign of that which all men desire, even though the desire be unconscious, intensity of life or completeness of experience, the universality of its appeal is a matter of course.
The poet’s perfect expression is the token of a perfect experience; what he says in the best possible way he has felt in the best possible way, that is, completely.
For while the subjects of poetry are few and recurrent, the moods of man are infinitely various and unstable. It is the same in all arts.
Poe’s saying that a long poem is a sequence of short ones is perfectly just.