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...a fervid and glowing Nationality and patriotism, cohering all the parts into one. Who may fend that danger, and fill that lack in the future, but a class of loftiest poets?
If the United States haven't grown poets, on any scale of grandeur, it is certain they import, print, and read more poetry than any equal number of people elsewhere--probably more than all the rest of the world combined.
Poetry (like a grand personality) is a growth of many generations--many rare combinations.To have great poets, there must be great audiences too.
To avoid mistake, I would say that I not only commend the study of this literature, but wish our sources of supply and comparison vastly enlarged. American students may well derive from all former lands--from forenoon Greece and Rome, down to the perturb'd mediaeval times, the Crusades, and so to Italy, the German intellect--all the older literatures, and all the newer ones--from witty and warlike France, and markedly, and in many ways, and at many different... Whitman, Walt
Excerpt from Complete Prose Works Specimen Days and Collect, November Boughs and Goodbye My Fancy · This quote is about audiences · Search on Google Books to find all references and sources for this quotation.
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