Classic · Collection · Essay · Excerpt · French Culture · French Literature · French Renaissance · Non-fiction · Paraphrase · Passage · Poetics · Quote · Writing

Michel de Montaigne

IT is easier to write an indifferent poem than understand a good one. There is, indeed, a certain low and moderate sort of poetry that a man may well enough judge by certain rules of art; but the true, supreme, and divine Poetry is above all the rules of reason. Whoever discerns the beauty of it, with the most assured and most steady sight, sees no more than the quick reflection of a flash of lightning. This it a sort of poetry that does not exercise, but ravishes and overwhelms our judgment.  — Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays: Of Cato the Younger. (Penguin Classics; Reprint edition September 7, 1993) Originally published 1572.


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