Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, culture, and the writing life.

Aldous Huxley on a poet’s experience

with 2 comments

The poet is, etymologically, the maker. Like all makers, he requires a stock of raw materials—in his case, experience. Now experience is not a matter of having actually swum the Hellespont, or danced with the dervishes, or slept in a doss-house. It is a matter of sensibility and intuition, of seeing and hearing the significant things, of paying attention at the right moments, of understanding and co-ordinating. Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him. It is a gift for dealing with the accidents of existence, not the accidents themselves. By a happy dispensation of nature, the poet generally possesses the gift of experience in conjunction with that of expression.

Aldous Huxley

Written by nevalalee

April 8, 2012 at 9:50 am

Posted in Quote of the Day, Writing

Tagged with ,

2 Responses

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  1. “Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.” Brilliant.

    leahgraceobrien

    April 8, 2012 at 2:38 pm

  2. And very true. Although it doesn’t make the process any easier!

    nevalalee

    April 8, 2012 at 2:40 pm


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