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Euphonics

vi vii comprehensive worldview of Plato and Plotinus. The darling studies of the poets are commonly those which their learned contemporaries have considered morbid or discredited. Dante acknowledged the influence of Dionysius and Areopagite, Milton that of Hermes Trismegistos, while Spenser, Shelley, Yeats, Coleridge and Wordsworth were among those who found a a prime source of inspiration in the mystical theology of the Neoplatonists. The tradition on whic they all drew was that whic is most firmly rooted in human nature and has, by its long endurance, earned itself the epithet, perennial. Spring to light in the songs of Orpheus and he ancient lawgiving bards, channelled through a golden succession of sages, mystics and devout scholars, it forms that invisible stream which has fertilised the noblest works of literature and wells up spontaneously in the mind of a natural poet. In the spirit of ancient scholarship, this Dictionary is not definitive, authoritative, exclusive or didactic. As one namegiver, says Socrates, will differ from others in the sounds he chooses to make up his verbal imitations, so readers may find other associations than those here attached to the various sounds. A few revelant words in foreign languages have been included, but for the most part the following verbal illustrations are in English, a composite tongue where the adaptation to rich onomatopoetic effect of words from many different sources has clearly been the work of that shrewd, everactive name giver, the native genius. In light and humorous verse the use of alliteration, onomatopoeia and suchlike devices may well be exaggerated, as for example in Hoods Ben Battle was a soldier bold, where the blustering B is repeated to comic effect. Coarse rhymes and alliterations are also appropriate in the lowest of poetic forms, the warcry or slogan. Thus Power to the people, Ban the bomb and No taxation without representation In higher forms the medium poets are inclined not to flaunt such techniques , but rather to evade pedantic analysis by concealing their art. Yet on every level the art of poetry is bound up with Euphonics and the subtle relationships between sound and meaning. The subject of this Dictionary is thus of assured interest to all who in any way practise that art, and the Compiler anticipates the approval of all poets towards his purpose, however inadequate the results. His hopes are for readers pleasure in the wisdom and humour which lie in the Socratic philosophy of names, or at least that they may derive some amusement and stimulation from these pages.
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