excerpt from A Defence of Poetry

Poetry, in a general sense, may be defined to be "the expression of the Imagination:" and Poetry is connate with the origin of man. Man is an instrument over which a series of external and internal impressions are driven, like the alternations of an ever-changing wind over an Æolian lyre; which move it, by their motion, to ever-changing melody.


NOTES: Poetry is man's real and outward expression of his imagination, and Poetry is an innate characteristic of man. A human being is that body with the imaginative soul. Like Nature creating music on Coleridge's Eolian harp, our interactions with the world are themselves forms of poetry. We are constantly processing things, evaluating, and revising who we are.