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The future of the arts is darker than the Styx; one great influence may change a form of artistic expression permanently. Nevertheless, in its traditional sense, poetry is still a dual form. Its beauty reaches the mind both through the eye and the ear. Many who today are judged as poets aver that poetry is no longer being read aloud, and are writing verse with that in mind. Robert Bridges' last great poem stands in stern contrast to that opinion.
It is safe to say that the tradition of reading poetry aloud is not to be killed by a lot of theorizing. Every poet may want to be his own Aristotle, but all his legions of poetic theories will not dethrone the gods unless he writes poetry. There is no test but time; beauty never dies.
It is the consummation of self complacency to be conservative for conservatism's sake, but until the dual form of poetry is eclipsed by some great, new form, tradition will overshadow theory. The emphasis on the maintenance of the tradition as indicated by the Intercollegiate Poetry Reading Convention cannot but arouse agreement from a public liked by the unintelligible effusions of "original" geniuses.
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