Back to the Middle Ages? - With social distancing and lockdown measures around the world to combat the spread of COVID19 we shall, I suppose, all be letting our hair grow long for q...
1 month ago
"Only the Poet disdeining to be tied to any such subjection, lifted up with the vigor of his own invention, doth grow in effect into another nature: in making things either better then nature bringeth foorth, or quite a new, formes such as never were in nature: as the Heroes, Demigods, Cyclops, Chymeras, Furies, and such like; so as he goeth hand in hand with nature, not enclosed within the narrow warrant of her gifts, but freely raunging within the Zodiack of his owne wit."Jacob Bronowski, who in his 1939 book The Poet's Defence, was an early advocate for the link between Gosson and Sidney's Defence of Poesie, writes elsewhere of the truth that poetry offers:
"There is a common pattern to all knowledge: what we meet is always particular, yet what we learn is always general. In science we reason from particular instances to the general laws that we suppose to lie behind them, and though we do not know how we guess at these laws, we know very well how to test them. But in a poem the specific story and the detailed imagery that carries it create in us an immediate sense of the general. The experience is made large and significant precisely by the small and insignificant touches. Here the particular seems to become general of itself: the detail is its own universal."Sidney held poetry up as something distinct from other disciplines, including what we today would call science, in that only poetry was not "enclosed within the narrow warrant" of nature, whereas Bronowski sees that poetry - like science - expresses the general by means of "particular instances".