Dead Poet Society

poet001.gifMy guruji once drew a straight line and said:

Eliminate rhyme, and you still have free verse

Eliminate simile, and you still have symbol

Eliminate line, and you have prose

Yet the line is the one characteristic that all other elements must rely on.

Ah! The practice and pleasure of Poetry from Plato to Aristotle  could be seen as the line that divides philosophy from poetry. The term  “Dead Poet Society” has been defined and refined by many poets, but  my favourite definition was the one embraced by Arthur Symons:

Social rules are made by normal people for normal people, and the man of genius is fundamentally abnormal. It is the poet against society, society against the poet, a direct antagonism; the shock of which, however, it is often possible to avoid by a compromise. So much license is allowed on one side, so much liberty foregone on the other. The consequence are not always of the best, art being generally the loser.

The “Dead Poet Society” is a category that deals with poetry from a layperson’s point of view. When the simpleton’s eye meets the poet’s ‘I’ – the line might curve, but the mystery will not be solved because these poets are dead. 


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