Again, a wonderful, provocative and pithy comment by Thoreau.  I’m now looking at poetry and asking how far it implies the whole truth and whether it needs to do so to be fine poetry.

As to philosophy, I am so woefully refractory as to be incapable of comment. Luckily I know people who can read poetry and philosophy and make sense of both.  And they still speak to me, which is encouraging.

‘Poetry implies the whole truth.  Philosophy expresses a particle of it.’   26 January 1852


Source: Henry David Thoreau, The Journal 1837-1861, Damion Searls (ed.), preface by John R. Stilgoe (New York: New York Review Books, 2009), p. 108

Photo credit: Stefan Gunnarsson at unsplash


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