best things ever said

Of the other poets, Baratýnsky wrote very little prose, but this little contains a quite disproportionate amount of the best things ever said in Russian on the subject of poetry. Two of his utterances should be especially remembered: his definition of lyrical poetry as "the fullest awareness of a given moment," and his remark that good poetry is rare because two qualities, as a rule mutually exclusive, are necessary to the making of a poet—"the fire of creative imagination and the coldness of controlling reason."

—D.S. Mirsky, "The Poets' Prose," A History of Russian Literature: From the Beginnings to 1900  (Vantage Books, 1958), edited by Francis J. Whitfield

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