Henry John Stock’s The Poet’s Dream: The Pursuit of the Ideal (1898) argues that poetry’s primary function is to create a vision of how the world ought to be and provide inspiration to act on this vision. This essay was influential in launching the Imagist movement, which sought to express ideas in strong, simple language, free from embellishment and emotional expressionism, which was popular at the time. The Poet s Dream: The Pursuit of the Ideal by Henry John Stock
Henry John Stock was an English poet and writer. He was born in 1813 and died in 1887. He is best known for his works The Vaudeville, Cricket on the Hearth, and Song of Myself. He was a major influence on the Transcendentalist movement and is considered one of the most important poets of the 19th century. In this poem, he talks about how beautiful poetry can be when it is true to life. He discusses the struggle between what poetry should be and what poetry has become today because of society’s views on art. It follows with a description of what he wants to see happen with future poets; that they are given more freedom to do as they please with their work so that it reflects them in its truest form. The Poet s Dream: The Pursuit of the Ideal by Henry John Stock
Chapter 1 summary
In the first chapter, Henry John Stock introduces the reader to the concept of the poet’s dream. He explains that the poet’s dream is a representation of their ideal world, and that it is something that they constantly strive to achieve. They may never reach it, but the pursuit is what matters. He goes on to say that the poet’s dream is not just about beauty, but also about truth and goodness. It is an expression of their highest aspirations. Ultimately, the poet’s dream is about life and humanity as a whole. When looking at other people, poets try to see them in terms of this poem so that they can better understand who they are in this world.
Summary of chapter 2
In chapter 2, The World of Art, Stock argues that art is a higher expression of reality than either philosophy or religion. He observes that artists have always been inspired by an ideal, which they strive to attain in their work. This ideal may be beauty, truth, or goodness, but it is always something that the artist believes is worth pursuing. In order to achieve this ideal, the artist must have a clear vision and dedicate him or herself to the pursuit of it. Stock concludes by saying that art is not simply a pleasant diversion from the everyday world, but a way of seeing and understanding reality that can enrich our lives.
-Why did you choose this book?
I was attracted to the book because of its focus on the pursuit of the ideal. I thought it would be interesting to explore what that meant for different people, and how it might manifest itself in their lives.
-What did you like about it?
I liked that the book was accessible and easy to read, but still managed to raise some thought-provoking questions.