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"That sacred art of the Word, just because it springs forth from the sacred

depths of the Universal Being, appears to us as bound, more rigorously than

any other mode of expression, to the spiritual and physicals Movement of which

it is a generator and a guide. And preceisely for that reason it separated

itself from Music, a language that, since the dawn of Panhellenism, has been

primarily affective, and, thus separated, it has taken part in the incessant

transformations of religious, political and social thought, and dominated

them. Sacerdotal in prehistoric times, epic at the moment of Greek colonial

expansion, psychological and tragic at the decline of the dionysia, Christian,

theological and sentimental in the Middle Ages, neoclassical since the

beginning of the first spiritual and political revolution--namely the

Renaissance--finally romantic, i.e., both mystical and social before and after

`789, poetry has always followed, fully aware of its terrible

responsibilities, the mysterious movements of the great soul of the people (la

grande âme populaire).

Czeslaw Milosz, The Witness of Poetry

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