Art is man’s nature; nature is God’s art

brain scan

Art is man’s nature; nature is God’s art.
All nature in the poet’s heart is limued
In little; as now in landscape stones, we see
The swell of ground, green groves, and running streams
Fresh from the wolds of Chaos; hints of life
Foreworldly, pencilled by pre-solar light,
Or paradisal sun; so in his mind
Ingrained in primal purity, know, life’s main
And simple elements marshaled ‘neath one law,
Harmonic and continuous; God to know
The heavenly glory of; and of doing good.

by Philip James Bailey (22 April 1816 – 6 September 1902)
from Festus, the Jubilee revision

A Really Big Poem

Phililp James Bailey’s Festus is a book-sized poem, a life’s work. The word festus is Latin for festive or joyful. This “festus” is over 700 pages of epic struggle between good and evil. It’s a sort of a Victorian On the Road, with different driving forces for different eras.

Jack Kerouac was at loose ends and looking for his identity. Kerouac’s “beatnic” introspection took the form of a road trip and a scroll.

Bailey’s introspection took the shape of yards and yards of soul-searching poetry; he talked to himself, he talked to the powers that be, and he had the powers that be talk to each other through dialog between symbolic characters like “Lucifer” and “Helen.”

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