Wordsworth and Coleridge, "Preface" to Lyrical Ballads (1798)
II. More broadly, one might place Whitman's understanding of poetry
into the context of the Western tradition of the ars poetica,
the justification and explication of poetry's place in the world.
Compare, for example, Horace's Ars Poetica from antiquity,
or the Renaissance poet Sir Phillip Sydney's "Defense
of Poesie" (1595).
III. Can you place the trinity these manuscript pages set up--poet,
priest, physician--into the historical context of the United States
approaching the mid-nineteenth century? What research might one
need to do in order understand how the conception of the poet and
of poetry on this page draws upon and/or diverges from mid-nineteenth-century
understandings of physicians and priests? A place to start might
be the 1855 "Preface" to Leaves of Grass, which would seem
to owe a great deal to this manuscript page; in the latter text,
Whitman famously declares: "there will soon be no more priests"