Poetry in Truth – Truth in Poetry
A short excerpt from Edgar Allan Poe’s highly inspired Eureka.
The sense of the symmetrical is an instinct which may be depended on with an almost blindfolded reliance. It is the poetical essence of the universe – of the universe which, in the supremeness of its symmetry, is but the most sublime of poems. Now, symmetry and consistency are convertible terms; thus poetry and truth are one. A thing is consistent in the ratio of its truth, true in the ratio of its consistency. A perfect consistency, I repeat, can be nothing but an absolute truth. We may take it for granted, then, that man cannot long or widely err if he suffer himself to be guided by his poetical, which I maintained to be his truthful, in being symmetrical, instinct. He must have a care, however, lest in pursuing too heedlessly the superficial symmetry of forms and motions he leave out of sight the really essential symmetry of the principles which determine and control them. (Edgar Allan Poe, Eureka, 1848)