Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

POETRY. 
239 
enter into verse composition. This is often expressed as a 
general rule of artistic technique by saying that the 
pleasure must be pure or unmixed. If a plant or animal be 
beautiful to the eye but possess a disagreeable odour, it will 
not be a fit subject for Poetry, because the unpleasant idea of 
smell will be suggested at the same time with its pleasant 
form and colour. The insufferable skunk is as graceful and 
glossy as a marten. So again an object which is delicious to 
the taste may be ugly to the eye, or a bird of lovely plumage 
may possess a discordant note. In these cases, if the object 
be introduced at all, care must be taken to suggest only its 
pleasant aspect, to the exclusion of its disagreeable side 
and where this cannot be effected, its name must be given 
up as hopeless, and removed without appeal from the poetical 
vocabulary. There are many emotional difficulties com¬ 
plicating this question, such as the effect of antiquity, 
novelty, or poetical prescription ; for the present it will be 
sufficient to approach it from the sensational side alone. 
Now the act of eating and many others of the lower processes 
have Aesthetically disagreeable adjuncts which unfit them for 
introduction into Poetry, unless redeemed by an appeal to 
other senses, and by directing the attention rather to the 
beautiful appearance of the objects than to their actual taste. 
If the gustatory sense be introduced at all it must be in the 
form of allusions to delicate flavours and dainty discrimina¬ 
tions of bouquet, not to the coarser and more animal 
pleasures of food. The Homeric satisfaction at abundance 
of roast meat and drink jars upon modern ears. We all 
feel that dessert is the Poetry of dinner—not, indeed an
        

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