Samuel Johnson: On Poetry as Invention

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The essence of poetry is invention; such invention as, by producing something unexpected, surprises and delights. …

Poetry pleases by exhibiting an idea more grateful to the mind than things themselves afford. This effect proceeds from the display of those parts of nature which attract, and the concealment of those which repel the imagination…

From poetry the reader justly expects, and from good poetry always obtains, the enlargement of his comprehension and elevation of his fancy…

Pleasure and terror are indeed the genuine sources of poetry; but poetical pleasure must be such as human imagination can at least conceive, and poetical terror such as human strength and fortitude may combat.

 …………….– Samuel Johnson On Poetry

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