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Shifting Scenes, and Other Poems

Excerpt from Shifting Scenes, and Other Poems The author of this volume dislikes explanatory prefaces as much as any of his readers. Poetry needs no interpreter; and that which is not poetry is not worthy of interpretation. This, therefore, is not an explanatory preface, in the ordinary sense. It has no special reference to the pieces included in the volume; hut as an author of some eminence has chosen to bring forward certain propositions in reference to the absolute importance of "action" in poetry, and as the author of this book does not agree with his arguments and conclusions, he ventures, in a friendly spirit, to offer his own opinions on this matter. We are not about to attempt a definition of poetry. Whatever it may be, or whatever other attributes it may possess, it is agreed, on all hands, that genuine poetry has the quality of pleasing those to whom it is addressed. This is indispensable, and a test of its genuineness. How is this object to be attained? The purest poetry, say some, is to be written only by ignoring human action. This is to be achieved, say others, only in connection with human action. Action, says a third, is the soul and substance of poetry. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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