more primitive than prose

Poetry is more primitive than prose. It existed before prose and will exist afterward, it is not domesticated, it is wilder and more natural. It belongs out-doors, it has tides as nature has; while prose is a cultured interior thing, prose is of the house, where lamplight abolishes even the tides of day and night, and human caprice rules. The brain can make prose; the whole man, brain and nerves, muscles and entrails, organs of sense and of generation, makes poetry and responds to poetry.

—Robinson Jeffers, "Preface" (June 1922)

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