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as of low bass drums. This scene, this picture, I say, has risen before me at times for

Sometimes I wake at night and can hear and see it plainly. ART FEATURES

Talk, I say again, of going to Europe, of visiting the ruins of feudal castles, or Coliseum remains, or kings' palwhen you can

come here.

The alternations one gets, too; after the Illinois and Kansas prairies of a thousand miles smooth and easy areas of the corn and wheat of ten million democratic farms in the future

here start up in every conceivable presentation of shape, these nonutilitarian piles, coping the skies, emanating a beauty, terror, power, more than Dante or Angelo ever knew. Yes, I think the chyle of not only poetry and painting, but oratory, and even the metaphysics and music fit for the New World, before being finally assimilated, need first and feeding visits here. Mountain streams.— The spiritual contrast and etheriality of the whole region consist largely to me in its neverabsent peculiar streams the snows of inaccessible upper areas melting and running down through the gorges continually. Nothing like the water of pastoral plains, or creeks with wooded banks and turf, or anything of the kind elsewhere. The shapes that element takes in the shows of the globe cannot be fully understood by an artist until he has studied these unique rivulets. Aerial effects. But perhaps as I gaze around me the rarest sight of all is in atmospheric hues. The prairies cross’d them in my journey hither — and these mountains and parks, seem to me to afford new lights and shades. Everywhere the aerial gradations and sky-effects inimitable; nowhere else such perspectives, such transparent lilacs and grays. I can conceive of some superior landscape painter, some fine colorist, after sketching awhile out here, discarding all his previous work, delightful to stock exhibition amateurs, as muddy, raw and artificial. Near one's eye ranges an infinite variety; high up, the bare whitey-brown, above timber line; in certain spots afar

as I

patches of snow any time of year; (no trees, no powers, no birds, at those chilling altitudes.) As I write I see the Snowy Range through the blue mist, beautiful and far off. I plainly see the patches of snow. AMERICA'S CHARACTERISTIC LANDSCAPE

Speaking generally as to the capacity and sure future destiny of that plain and prairie area (larger than any European kingdom) it is the inexhaustible land of wheat, maize, wool, flax, coal, iron, beef and pork, butter and cheese, apples and grapes — land of ten million virgin farms — to the eye at present wild and unproductive — yet experts say that upon it when irrigated may easily be grown enough wheat to feed the world. Then as to scenery (giving my own thought and feeling,) while I know the standard claim is that Yosemite, Niagara falls, the upper Yellowstone and the like, afford the greatest natural shows, I am not so sure but the Prairies and the Plains, while less stunning at first sight, last longer fill the esthetic sense fuller, precede all the rest, and make North America's characteristic landscape. Indeed through the whole of this journey, with all its shows and varieties, what most impress’d me, and will longest remain with me, are these same prairies. Day after day, and night after night, to my eyes, to all my

- the esthetic one most of all — they silently and broadly unfolded. Even their simplest statistics are sublime. MISSISSIPPI VALLEY LITERATURE

Lying by one rainy day in Missouri to rest after quite a long exploration - first trying a big volume I found there of “ Milton, Young, Gray, Beattie and Collins,” but giving it up for a bad job - enjoying however for awhile, as often before, the reading of Walter Scott's poems, “ Lay of the Last Minstrel,” “Marmion,” and so on - I stopp'd and laid down the book, and ponder'd the thought of a poetry that should in due time express and supply the teeming region I was in the midst of, and have briefly touch'd upon. One's mind needs but a moment's deliberation any


where in the United States to see clearly enough that all
the prevalent book and library poets, either as imported
from Great Britain, or follow'd and doppel-gang'd here, are
foreign to our States, copiously as they are read by us all.
But to fully understand not only how absolutely in opposi-
tion to our times and lands, and how little and cramp'd,
and what anachronisms and absurdities many of their pages
are, for American purposes, one must dwell or travel
awhile in Missouri, Kansas and Colorado, and get rapport
with their people and country.
Will the day ever come no matter how long deferr'd
when those models and lay-figures from the British islands

and even the precious traditions of the classics — will
be reminiscences, studies only? The pure breath, primi-
tiveness, boundless prodigality and amplitude, strange mixt-
ure of delicacy and power, of continence, of real and ideal,
and of all original and first-class elements, of these prairies,
the Rocky mountains, and of the Mississippi and Missouri
rivers — will they ever appear in, and in some sort form a
standard for our poetry and art? (I sometimes think that
even the ambition of my friend Joaquin Miller to put them
in, and illustrate them, places him ahead of the whole
Not long ago I was down New York bay, on a steamer,
watching the sunset over the dark green heights of Tave-
sink, and viewing all that inimitable spread of shore, ship-
ping and sea, around Sandy Hook. But an intervening
week or two, and my eyes catch the shadowy outlines of
the Spanish peaks. In the more than two thousand miles
between, though of infinite and paradoxical variety, a curious
and absolute fusion is doubtless steadily annealing, com-
pacting, identifying all. But subtler and wider and more
solid, (to produce such compaction,) than the laws of the
States, or the common ground of Congress, or the Supreme
Court, or the grim welding of our national wars, or the
steel ties of railroads, or all the kneading and fusing proc-
esses of our material and business history, past or present,
would in my opinion be a great throbbing, vital, imagina-

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tive work, or series of works, or literature, in constructing which the Plains, the Prairies, and the Mississippi river, with the demesnes of its varied and ample valley, should be the concrete background, and America's humanity, passions, struggles, hopes, there and now — an éclaircissement as it is and is to be, on the stage of the New World, of all Time's hitherto drama of war, romance and evolution should furnish the lambent fire, the ideal GATHERING THE CORN

How the half-mad vision of William Blake how the far freer, far firmer fantasy that wrote “Midsummer Night's Dream ” — would have revelld night or day, and beyond stint, in one of our American corn fields ! Truly, in color, outline, material and spiritual suggestiveness, where any more inclosing theme for idealist, poet, literary artist ? What we have written has been at noon day — but perhaps better still (for this collation,) to steal off by yourself these fine nights, and go slowly, musingly down the lane, when the dry and green-gray frost-touch'd leaves seem whisper-gossiping all over the field in low tones, as if every hill had something to say — and you sit or lean recluse near by, and inhale the rare, rich, ripe and peculiar odor of the gather'd plant which comes out best only to the night air. The complex impressions of the far-spread fields and woods in the night, are blended mystically, soothingly, indefinitely, and yet palpably to you (appealing curiously, perhaps mostly, to the sense of smell.) All is comparative silence and clear-shadow below, and the stars are up there with Jupiter lording it over westward; sulky Saturn in the east, and over head the moon. A rare well-shadow'd hour! By no means the least of the eligibilities of the gather'd corn! AN EGOTISTICAL “FIND"

“I have found the law of my own poems," was the unspoken but more-and-more decided feeling that came to me as I pass’d, hour after hour, amid all this grim yet joyous elemental abandon — this plenitude of material, entire absence of art, untrammeld play of primitive Nature - the

chasm, the gorge, the crystal mountain stream, repeated scores, hundreds of miles — the broad handling and absolute uncrampedness — the fantastic forms, bathed in transparent browns, faint reds and grays, towering sometimes a thousand, sometimes two or three thousand feet high — at their tops now and then huge masses pois'd, and mixing with the clouds, with only their outlines, hazed in misty lilac, visible. (“In Nature's grandest shows,” says an old Dutch writer, an ecclesiastic, “amid the ocean's depth, if so might be, or countless worlds rolling above at night, a man thinks of them, weighs all, not for themselves or the abstract, but with reference to his own personality, and how they may affect him or color his destinies.") ELIAS HICKS

I don't know in what book I once read, (possibly the remark has been made in books, all ages,) that no life ever lived, even the most uneventful, but, probed to its centre, would be found in itself as subtle a drama as any that

poets have ever sung, or playwrights fabled. Often, too, in size and weight, that life suppos'd obscure. For it isn't only the palpable stars; astronomers say there are dark, or almost dark, unnotic'd orbs and suns, like the dusky companions of Sirius, seven times as large as our own sun,) rolling through space, real and potent as any — perhaps the most real and potent. Yet none recks of them. In the bright lexicon we give the spreading heavens, they have not even names. Amid ceaseless sophistications all times, the soul would seem to glance yearningly around for such con

such cool, still offsets. NEW POETRY – CALIFORNIA, CANADA, TEXAS

In my opinion the time has arrived to essentially break down the barriers of form between prose and poetry. I say

the latter is henceforth to win and maintain its character regardless of rhyme, and the measurement-rules of iambic, spondee, dactyl, &c., and that even if rhyme and those measurements continue to furnish the medium for inferior writers and themes, (especially for persiflage and the comic, as there seems henceforward, to the perfect taste,


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