"...what would the Dower be, had I the Art to stun myself with Bolts of Melody!"

What a phrase!  Pure Emily Dickinson.  With irony she expresses the emotional content of the encounter between artist and spectator in an art form.  Philosophy Now devotes much of its current issue (#108) to essays on art.  What is art?  Who decides?  What is art for?  Why does art matter?  Thousands of years ago, what compelled our ancestors to draw on the walls of caves?  And what were they expressing?  We view these drawings and recognize in them a common humanity.  This connection, this encounter permeates art in all its forms, and we are the richer for it.  
 
I would not paint - a picture -
I'd rather be the One
Its bright impossibility
To dwell - delicious - on -
And wonder how the fingers feel
Whose rare - celestial - stir
Evokes so sweet a torment -
Such sumptuous - Despair -

I would not talk, like Cornets -
I'd rather be the One
Raised softly to the Ceilings -
And out, and easy on -
Through Villages of Ether -
Myself endued Balloon
By but a lip of Metal -
The pier to my Pontoon -

Nor would I be a Poet -
It's finer - Own the Ear -
Enamored - impotent - content -
The License to revere,
A privilege so awful
What would the Dower be,
Had I the Art to stun myself
With Bolts - of Melody!


 - Emily Dickinson

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    "Where words leave off, music begins."  
    - Heinrich Heine