On Shelley's "A Defence of Poetry"

So the master slacker i am, i decided to start on some journal entries for my world lit class today. We're supposed to have at least 13 by next week (ain't no thang) but i did one on a piece that wasn't even mandatory. Oh well. Enjoysies:

I read Shelley’s “A Defence…” last semester & though the “wow” factor of his vernacular and threading of language that boasts of the use of poetry & poet’s abilities are lessened this time around, I still cling to some of the sentiments he highlights in its conclusion.

I feel poetry, and certainly literature, has that power to move because it is something one can feel without an actual touch. It is a compass for the wilderness within which guides & comforts us as we go about the journey. In the story of humanity, when there is a struggle to express in an open & clear fashion, we turn to poetry. “The most unfailing herald, companion, and follower of the awakening of a great people to work a beneficial change in opinion or institution, is Poetry” (824). It appeases the anxiety of our emotions which are otherwise left unexpressed.

I also admire the way Shelley compares the painter to the poet who “colour all that they combine with the evanescent hues of this ethereal world; a word, or a trait in the representation of a scene or a passion… and reanimate, in those who have ever experienced these emotions… the buried image of the past” (824). And it’s not something that the poet can help. Shelley writes that they are “compelled to serve, the Power which is seated upon the throne of their soul” (825). The source of this creative ability is embedded within and has less having to do with themselves because it is less their spirit than the spirit of the age (825). Though I feel that it is the spirit of the past mixed with the spirit of the age, I pretty much agree with Shelley.

No apologies for the blocks of text. Read muhf*cka! Chuch!