“You would hardly believe how little I have taken in of music and literature, which you know so much of. I wonder what your vocation will turn out to be: perhaps you will be a poet?»
«That depends. To be a poet is to have a soul so quick to discern that no shade of quality escapes it, and so quick to feel, that discernment is but a hand playing with finely ordered variety on the chords of emotion—a soul in which knowledge passes instantaneously into feeling, and feeling flashes back as a new organ of knowledge.
One may have that condition by fits only.»
«But you leave out the poems,» said Dorothea. «I think they are wanted to complete the poet. I understand what you mean about knowledge passing into feeling, for that seems to be just what I experience.”