Ponkapog Papers

Ponkapog Papers

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Ponkapog Papers by Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Published:

1903

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Ponkapog Papers

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Book Excerpt

parison with the world's best in this kind. In imaginative quality and austere richness of diction what other verse of our period approaches it? The day Emerson wrote Bacchus he had in him, as Michael Drayton said of Marlowe, "those brave translunary things that the first poets had."

IMAGINE all human beings swept off the face of the earth, excepting one man. Imagine this man in some vast city, New York or London. Imagine him on the third or fourth day of his solitude sitting in a house and hearing a ring at the door-bell!

No man has ever yet succeeded in painting an honest portrait of himself in an autobiography, however sedulously he may have set to work about it. In spite of his candid purpose he omits necessary touches and adds superfluous ones. At times he cannot help draping his thought, and the least shred of drapery becomes a disguise. It is only the diarist who accom- plishes the feat of self-portraiture, and he, with- out any such end in view, does it unconsciously. A man cannot keep a

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