immediate contact

Intuition can only operate by an immediate contact with the thing. In poetry what in logic are called subjective and objective are united. There is no observer and thing observed, both are one; the poet is the bird, the flower, the tree, the Pope (Browning in “The Ring and the Book”), the ship (Coleridge in “The Ancient Mariner”), and anything else to which he is able to join himself. And if this union does not take place there can be no poetry.

—Michael Oakeshott, “Philosophy, Poetry and Reality,” What is History? (Imprint Academic, 2004)

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