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.
It is commonly asserted and accepted that Paradise Lost is among the two or three greatest English poems; it may justly be taken as the type of supreme poetic achievement in our literature.
To know anything of a poet but his poetry is, so far as the poetry is concerned, to know something that may be entertaining, even delightful, but is certainly inessential.
So it is in poetry. All we ask is that the mood recorded shall impress us as having been of the kind that exhausts the imaginative capacity; if it fails to do this the failure will announce itself either in prose or in insignificant verse.
To take an analogy: if we say that a democratic government is the best kind of government, we mean that it most completely fulfills the highest function of a government – the realisation of the will of the people.
There can be no proof that Blake’s lyric is composed of the best words in the best order; only a conviction, accepted by our knowledge and judgment, that it is so.