Quotation by John Stuart Mill

Poetry and eloquence are both alike expression or utterance of feeling. But if we may be excused the antithesis, we should say that eloquence is heard, poetry is overheard. Eloquence supposes an audience; the peculiarity of poetry appears to us to lie in the poet's utter unconsciousness of a listener. Poetry is feeling confessing itself to itself, in moments of solitude, and embodying itself in symbols which are the nearest representations of the feeling in the exact shape in which it exists in the poet's mind. Eloquence is feeling pouring itself to other minds, courting their sympathy, or endeavoring to influence their belief or to move them to passion or to action.
John Stuart Mill (1806–1873), British philosopher. "Thoughts on Poetry and Its Varieties," vol. 1, Dissertations and Discussions (1859).
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