They say Degas used to complain to Mallarme about how hard it was for him to write good sonnets. However, Degas claimed to have plenty of ideas. Mallarme responded to Degas that poems are not made of ideas, they are made of words. Poetry is done both with ideas and with words. One needs to have ideas in order to be a painter, a musician, a poet, a designer. But these ideas need to be poured onto the proper kind of shapes in order to create something unique, something artistic, and something worthy of interest.
Delacroix explains how the musical pleasure comes to reunite the sensorial and metrical-sensorial pleasures of sounds and movements, the architectural pleasure of sound forms and the pleasure of the feelings and of the confused or precise world which lies beyond them. The entire spirit of the musician gets contracted within the gesture which synthesizes these elementary operations.
When enjoying art, one experiences a purely sensitive pleasure. It is a sensorial kind of pleasure. It implies agreeable sensations without which feelings cannot be awaken or ended. This pleasure is excited like in a sort of diffuse irradiation. But this pleasure pertains to the realm of beauty so it is an orderly arrangement, a piece of architecture. This architecture is animated and expressive.
Among other definitions of poetry we can find in Delacroix’s writings, there is also the one according to which poetry could be considered as music in which the idea became feeling. Because it is lyrical, poetry is a translation of the soul’s movements, of the inner voices and reveries. When it is dramatic, poetry expresses the action which is born out of the poet’s interior life and which is alive when coming out of the artist’s spirit in order to come into conflict with social order or with the natural destiny. Poetry takes up all these above-mentioned forms throughout history, and it is sometimes exteriorized, sometimes more internalized.