lyric bauble

Sometime a poet becomes so completely absorbed in the lyrical possibilities of certain combinations of sounds that he forget what he started out to say, if anything, and here again a nasty tangle results. This type of obscurity is one which I have great sympathy for: I know that quite frequently in the course of delivering himself of a poem, a poet will find himself in possession of a lyric bauble—a line as smooth as velvet to the ear, as pretty as a feather to the eye, yet a line definitely out of plumb with the frame of the poem. What to do with a trinket like this is always troubling to a poet, who is naturally grateful to his Muse for small favors. Usually he just drops the shining object into the body of the poem somewhere and hopes it won’t look too giddy.

—E. B. White, “Unzip the Veil,” One Man's Meat, p146

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