Sunday, 3 June 2012

Touch-Stone Method

The Touch-Stone Method: Arnold suggests that we should have always in our minds, lines and expressions of the great masters of poetry, and that we should apply those lines and expressions as a touch-stone method to other poetry. Of course we are not to require these other poetry to resemble (similar) those lines and expressions. Even these other poetry may be dissimilar.
But those lines and expressions will prove and infallible (most successful) touch stone for detecting the presence or absence of high poetic quality. He then gives us illustrations quoting some lines from Homer, a few lines from Dante, a few lines from Shakespeare and another few lines from Milton. Arnold says that, the specimens (sample, example, model) of poetry quoted by him are enough to enable us to form clear and sound judgments of any other poetry and to conduct us to a real estimate (assessment, evaluation).        

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