Poetry

I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond
         all this fiddle.
     Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one
         discovers that there is in
     it after all, a place for the genuine.
         Hands that can grasp, eyes
         that can dilate, hair that can rise
             if it must, these things are important not because a

high-sounding interpretation can be put upon them but because
         they are
     useful; when they become so derivative as to become
         unintelligible, the
     same thing may be said for all of us—that we
         do not admire what
         we cannot understand. The bat,
             holding on upside down or in quest of something to

eat, elephants pushing, a wild horse taking a roll, a tireless
         wolf under
     a tree, the immovable critic twinkling his skin like a horse
         that feels a flea, the base-
     ball fan, the statistician—case after case
         could be cited did
         one wish it; nor is it valid
             to discriminate against “business documents and

school-books”; all these phenomena are important. One must
         make a distinction
     however: when dragged into prominence by half poets,
         the result is not poetry,
     nor till the autocrats among us can be
         “literalists of
         the imagination”—above
             insolence and triviality and can present

for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them,
         shall we have
     it. In the meantime, if you demand on the one hand, in defiance
         of their opinion—
     the raw material of poetry in
         all its rawness, and
         that which is on the other hand,
             genuine, then you are interested in poetry.