Isaac D’Israeli on poets

At Curiosities of Literature, Isaac D’Israeli’s thoughts on poets.

I thought this bit he quotes from Charpentier was particularly entertaining:

“Men may ridicule as much as they please those gesticulations and contortions which poets are apt to make in the act of composing; it is certain however that they greatly assist in putting the imagination into motion. These kinds of agitation do not always show a mind which labours with its sterility; they frequently proceed from a mind which excites and animates itself. Quintilian has nobly compared them to those lashings of his tail which a lion gives himself when he is preparing to combat.”