I’ve not dared read poetry since I began again – afraid that I would write in the style of the superior rather than my own. but a while ago I decided to try Blake. His style and the form of English then distance him enough that I felt and feel safe. I read some in the collection and then skimmed – I can only find a passing and academic interest in so many poems about children or religious celebrations or sentimental views of nature.
This has set me to wondering about scholars spending their lives thinking and writing about someone else’s creativity. I know that the better historians can integrate poetic genius into their analyses – but History at its best is literature, not science. I would hope if I ever tried Frye’s great study of Blake, Fearful Symmetry, that I would find a work not only of intense scholarship, but of creativity and beauty.