An Outline for an Essay on Wind

by Carl Schmitt
1924

Lyric poetry differs only in degree and not in kind from epic and dramatic poetry. All poetry—be it lyric, epic, or dramatic—is then determined only by its sustainment, wind! 

A lyric poem is the poetic impulse sustained only until mirage, the wonder of beauty, is caught. An epic poem has traveled through the mirage until the poet has gazed upon reality in the distance. Dramatic poetry has gone further: it has descended into the city and tasted the reality of beauty in its three planes.

An epic poem is a lyric sustained into space and shadow. A dramatic poem is a lyric sustained into form. The lyric must be sustained. For all art is born in lyricism, begins in color and must never lose its lyrical impulse (or memory) no matter how far sustained.

Quality is the essence of lyricism. Color and mood are its components. Quality may be defined as lyrical form. Space is the essence of the epic. Space may be defined as two-plane form. Its components are light and shade. Form is the essence of the dramatic. Its components are rhythm and characterization. It may be defined as the eternal, or the ultimate, or the inevitable reality (immanently considered).

All of the essences are form. The lyrical essence is form suggested; the epical essence is form in appearance; the dramatic essence is form per se, tangible, explicit. An epic painting is a lyrical painting “carried.” A dramatic painting is a lyrical and epic “carried.” Wind determines the major artist’s status.

© Copyright 2004 Carl Schmitt Foundation