Our Debt to the Poets
The poet, to whose mighty heart Heaven doth a quicker pulse impart,
Subdues that energy to scan Not his own course, but that of man.
Matthew Arnold here describes what I love about poets. They have such tremendous insight, not only about their own heart, but about the human condition. For if you understand one human heart, you pretty well have a grasp over the rest of them. Yes, a poet’s heart bears the burden of a “quicker pulse” and he/she uses words to subdue that energy and translate it into meaningful, verbal form. Most of us lost that “quicker pulse” early in our life as our heart became organized into the “right” way of perceiving and understanding the world. We must depend on the poets…and other artists…to teach us about other ways of looking at the world.