Page:Path of Vision; pocket essays of East and West.djvu/71

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A FOOTNOTE OF NATURE

stage in spectacular productions.

Consider, for instance, a simoom in the desert. One feels the intensity and magnitude of even the slightest gust of the sand storm in the vast and trackless waste. There is no need there for magnification. The boundless sea of sands is a sufficient background. But on the stage or on a canvas, with a limited area and an artificial background, how can such a picture be produced with effect unless its elemental features are magnified, intensified? If a traveller, who happens to be in the audience, objects that the simoom seldom reaches such brobdingnagian proportions, the reply is, Bring to play in this circumscribed space in the open desert a compressed simoom, so to speak, and you will have an intensity of effect that can hardly be represented on the stage or on a canvas.

The same thing might be said of a poem in which all the reactions of Nature are translated through the complex medium of the senses as well as the soul. Her voice,

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