Our poetry is cold and imitative; it seems more the product of over-strained intellects than the spontaneous outgushing of hearts warm with love, and strongly sympathizing with human nature as it actually exists about us, with the joys and griefs of the men and women whom we meet daily.
To carry the imitative idea farther and to suggest, as has been done by writers, that the carver of the Mound-Building epoch sat down to his work with the animal or a model of it before him, as does the accurate zoological artist of our own day, is wholly insupported by evidence derivable from the carvings themselves, and is of too imaginative a character to be entertained.
Difficulties of Selection and Arrangement Limits of an Imitative Treatment Light and Distance Factors in the Arrangement of a Design Economy of Detail Necessary The Word "Conventional."
"For as this temple waxes, the inward service of the mind and soul grows wide withal;" and an author's own style breaks through the coverings of his education, as a hyacinth breaks from the bulb. It is noticeable, too, that the early and imitative work of great men generally belongs to a particular school to which their maturity bears a logical relation.
He brought to literary researches the same vigour and amplitude of mind to which both physical and metaphysical science are so greatly indebted. His fundamental principles of criticism are excellent. To cite only a single instance: the doctrine which he established, that poetry is an imitative art, when justly understood, is to the critic what the compass is to the navigator.
In proportion as society prevents or perverts this moral outreach after God, it pollutes and endangers itself. The atmosphere that kills the lily creates the stench. In the passage of the boy's religious life from the imitative type to the personal and energized form, or, as he experiences conversion, the battle is usually waged about some concrete moral problem.
Travelling, and the imitative arts, have given a most surprising uniformity to all the fashions of dress and ornament; and, whatever may be said to the contrary, there is a very slight difference between the scenes of a French and English polite assembly. If any thing, however, be distinguishable, it is more in degree than in substance.
You have conceived my meaning perfectly; and if I mistake not, what you failed to apprehend before is now made clear to you, that poetry and mythology are, in some cases, wholly imitative instances of this are supplied by tragedy and comedy; there is likewise the opposite style, in which the my poet is the only speaker of this the dithyramb affords the best example; and the combination of both is found in epic, and in several other styles of poetry.
It is not always poetry at first hand; it is often imitative, like all Latin poetry, of the Greek songs that sounded at the awakening of the world.
The fact is, that by this time, to speak conceitedly, the obsession of the book was getting oppressive. Men could hardly sing for remembering, or, at least, without remembering, what others had sung before them, and became either slavishly imitative or wilfully recalcitrant to imitation.