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The poet is not a man who asks me to look at him; he is a man who says “look at that” and points; the more I follow the pointing of his finger the less I can possible see of him. To be sure there are all sorts of difficult questions hanging over us. But for the moment let us thrust them aside. Whatever may turn out to be the whole truth, let us make fast, before we go a step farther, this aspect of the truth. To see things as a poet sees them I must share his consciousness and not attend to it; I must look where he looks and not turn round to face him; I must make of him not a spectacle but a pair of spectacles: in fine, as Professor Alexander would say, I must enjoy him and not contemplate him. Such is the first positive result of my inquiry.

From The Personal Heresy

The Personal Heresy: A Controversy. Copyright © 1939 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

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