The Critic Must Be Beauty

The poets sees beauty and articulates it.  The critic must be beauty.  The latter, of course, is the infinitely more difficult job.  When one disparages the poet, one curses one’s own eyes, but when the critic is the object of derision and ridicule, well, then one curses beauty itself.  It is the mark of a civilization in decline that ignores its poets.  It is the mark of a civilization gone insane that ignores its critics.  Still, it may be the best thing for a critic to be born, when critics are irrelevant.  Then, he can keep beauty all to himself.  And the poet who discovers this and writes, as if in private correspondence with beauty, is luckier still.  He and the muse are intimates, and the critic is like a girl before a mirror as amazed as she is loved.

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