Mill was trying to get at an essence of poetry, and
ends up by defining poetry as anti-rhetoric, hence the
notion that pure poetry has the effect of being
overheard--profuse strains of unpremeditated art, from
heaven or near it, as it were. Of course one also
overhears people farting when they don't think an
audience is around too. Mill's "What Is Poetry" is a
surprisingly canny essay for a man who discovered
poetry at about age 25 and only turned his attention
to writing about it in a few magazine essays.
--- Edmund Hardy <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >A poem is written for an audience that overhears
> the poem speaking to them.
> Is that a slant on John Stuart Mill's feeling that
> the audience "overhears"
> the work of art?
http://www.standmagazine.org (Stand Magazine, Leeds)