Monday, July 26, 2021

The Maker

The poet is, etymologically, the maker.  Like all makers, he requires a stock of raw materials -- in his case, experience.  Now experience is not a matter of having actually swum the Hellespont, or danced with the dervishes, or slept in a doss-house.  It is a matter of sensibility and intuition, of seeing and hearing the significant things, of paying attention at the right moments, of understanding and coordinating.  Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.  It is a gift for dealing with the accidents of existence, not the accidents themselves.  By a happy dispensation of nature, the poet generally possesses the gift of experience in conjunction with that of expression.  What he says so well is therefore intrinsically of value.

-- Aldous Leonard Huxley (26 July 1894 - 22 November 1963), British author, most famous for his novel Brave New World, Texts and Pretexts (1932) p. 5

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