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Solved Exercise for Precis writing with Title “Role of Poetry” Precis for Class 9, 10, 11, 12 and Higher classes.

Passages with Solved Precis

“It has been said that poetry imparts pleasure. This has often aroused controversy. Plato banished poets from his ideal commonwealth because in their desire to please, they overlooked the requirements of morality: “They give us to understand that many evil lives are happy and many righteous men unhappy; and that wrongdoing, if it be understood, is profitable, while, honest dealing is beneficial to one’s neighbour, but damaging to one’s self’. This is with reference to poetical works where delight ensues from the triumph of evil over good, as in the Athenian tragedy of his day. Such works of art he denounce .A unreservedly. Therefore, he laid it down that “we must look for artists who are able, out of the goodness of their own natures, to trace the nature of beauty and perfection, that so our youngmen. Like persons who live in a healthy place, may be perpetually influenced for good”. He would have no poetry that did not instruct. On the other hand, Aristotle, who regards poetry as an art of imitation, imitating Nature and Man and Human Life by means of rhythm, melody and verse, holds mat men imitate because they “receive pleasure from imitation. This is evident from what we experience in viewing the works of imitative art, for in them we contemplate with pleasure such objects as, if real, we could not see without pain; as the figures of the meanest and most disgusting animals, dead bodies, and the like. And the reason of this is, that to learn is a natural pleasure, not confined to philosophers but common to all men.” These two conflicting aims of poetry, and art, in general were reconciled by the Latin poet Horace, who declared: “Poets desire either to improve or to please, or to unite the agreeable and the profitable. You will win every vote if you blend what is improving with what pleases, and at once delight and instruct the reader. A poem like this, earns money for the publisher; it is sent across the sea and makes its famous author immortal” Each of these three views of the function of poetry has been reflected in the poetry which only instructs, poetry which only delights, and poetry which both instructs and delights It all depends on the attitude of the poet, which is determined by several factors his temperament, his early association, his reading, his observation, the age in which he lives, literary affiliations, and so on.

Poetry, it has been said above, imitates Nature and Man and Human Life. It may attempt to reproduce a natural scene, a man’s face or character, an event from life. Its method in each case is different from that of science or history. The scientist or the historian endeavours to describe a thing ‘as it is; the poet sets forth not the thing but a vivid idea of it. What his eyes see, his imagination improves upon. An actual scene, person, or event may be over-looked by a passer-by, but the poet’s version of it grips his attention. It is because by his power of imagination he grasps its essentials, discarding what is purely accidental, and stresses them only in his version. In this way, he makes beauty more beautiful and ugliness more ugly than ever either is in life. From what has been or is, he passes on to what may be. As Addison puts it, “his rose-trees, woodbines andjess amines may flower together, and his beds be covered at the same time with lilies, violets, and amaranths. His soil is not restrained to any particular set of plants, but is proper either for oaks or myrtles, and adapts itself to the products of every climate. Oranges may grow wild in it; myrrh may be met within every hedge, and if he thinks it proper to have a grove of spices, he can quickly command sun enough to raise it. If all this will not furnish out an agreeable scene, he can make several new species of flowers with richer scents and higher colours than any that grow in the gardens of Nature…. In a word, he has the charms he pleases, provided he does not reform her too much, and run’ into absurdities, by endeavouring to excel”. So the poet gives not naked reality but his own imaginative version of it, which may be better or worse than reality but is certainly more impressive in either case. From this follows the emotional appeal of poetry-its power to move the reader’s mind and heart. Science or history is faithful to facts; poetry turns them into pictures that are more vivid than their original. It illumines the dull face of reality. Its truth, therefore, is of a different order from the truth of science or history. The one is truth seen by the mind or heart, the other truth seen by the eye or the senses.


Role of Poetry

The greatest controversial point about study and appreciation of poetry is as to what extent it is beneficial to human beings. It is generally considered that it imparts pleasure. But on this point there is a controversy. Plato, for example, considered poets to be a foe of man’s pleasure and that was the reason why he was of the opinion that poetry should be banished from society. Aristotle, however, defined poetry as an art of imitation and believed in the intercourse between poetry and human pleasure, ultimately believed that it is not poetry but imitation which affords joy to man’s heart. But in fact poetry interprets man, his life and nature. To a great extent it can be said that poetry, is a source of inspiration to man. But, the fact, is that poetry, like science, seeks to interpret man’s life. But a poet’s interpretation of life is certainly different from that of a scientist. Poet’s imaginative and emotional urge is different from the materialistic urge of a scientist. The main function of poetry from the materialistic urge of a scientist. The main function of poetry is to broaden and widen man’s intellectual horizon. Anyway, the finest and most ideal scope of poetry lies in the fact that it appeals to the emotional side of man’s life. It is the emotional satisfaction that makes poetry rise above the domination of science.


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