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First Axiom of Creative Art

When A.E. Housman writes that ”poetry is not the thing said but a way of saying it,” and when he states again “that the intellect is not the fount of poetry, that it may actually hinder its production, and that it cannot even be trusted to recognize poetry when it is produced,” he is no more than reaffirming and lucidly formulating the first axiom of all creative art – whether it be in poetry, music, dance, architecture, painting, or sculpture – which is, namely, that art is not, like science, a logic of references but a release from reference and rendition of immediate experience; a presentation of forms, images, or ideas in such a way that they will communicate, not primarily a thought or even a feeling, but an impact.

-- Joseph Campbell

(p. 39)

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