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( Originally Published Early 1900's )


A lyric represents a movement imparted to the thoughts, but, unlike the condition in a melody, the thoughts of the lyric appear in definite form. It is these thoughts that, according to their order of sequence, reveal the tendency which impels them.—Art in Theory, XVII.


The term lyric cry is often used by critics. What does this indicate except a recognition that, in this form of poetry, the soul, as in the case of one crying out in excitement, is over-mastered by the impulse from within. Yet there is little suggestion that the thought or emotion, as in the epic condition, is absolutely too great to be adequately expressed. There is often a suggestion of the opposite. Judging of the persons who cry loudest, and of the circumstances in which they do so, it might be argued that this form of expression, as a rule, exaggerates the amount and quality of the experience; and this is the condition in dramatic art.—The Representative Significance of Form, XIX.


Just as, through a few outlines, a good draughtsman gives us a conception of a whole form, so the lyric poet, through a few words, gives us a conception of a whole series of scenes or events. But in the lyric these few words do more than represent, as in realistic art, what exists or may be supposed to exist. They create something that with-out them would not exist. They give apprehensible form to impressions made upon thought and feeling. . The aesthetic interest awakened by the following is an interest not in any great idea illustrated nor in successive events accurately detailed, but in the form which the writer has constructed in order, through it, to represent the particular character of the emotional effects which, owing to his own poetic sensibilities, he himself has, or may be supposed to have, experienced. Idem.


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