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Selected Books by
Frithjof Schuon

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A Resource On Frithjof Schuon's Life & Teachings

Extract from a letter from Frithjof Schuon dated January 1971

Poetry is the “language of the gods”, and noblesse oblige; what I mean by this is that the poet has certain responsibilities. In poetry the musicality of things or their cosmic essentiality erupts onto the plane of language; and this process requires the grandeur, hence the authenticity, of both image and sentiment. The poet spontaneously intuits the underlying musicality of phenomena; under the pressure of an image or emotion—the emotion, moreover, being naturally combined with concordant images—he expresses an archetypal beauty; without this pressure there is no poetry, which means that true poetry always has an aspect of inward necessity, whence its irreplaceable perfume.

I am rather hostile to poetry because hardly anyone knows how to write it—spiritual motives notwithstanding—and also because most true poets are the dupes of their talent and get lost in prolixity instead of letting the muse take over, for the muse is sometimes very parsimonious, which is saying something! This implies that there is an inward pressure that tolerates no vagueness or chitchat, and this pressure must be the result of a certain order of grandeur, whence the “musical crystallinity” of poetry, the convincing power of its inward necessity. There is no beauty without grandeur; these two qualities must be in the soul of the poet as well as in the form that he knows how to impart to language. Gem of perfection and vibration of infinitude.

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