Virtues of Poetry

The Beauty of wax is its power to yield

To the finger’s skillful touch;

Thus taught, it can shape the god of War,

Chaste Wisdom or Love or her son.

The secret springs quench a flame,

Or gladden the flowers and fields;

So the mind of man, through the gentle arts

Is taught the wisdom of change.

— Pliny the Younger, Letter to Fuscus Salinator on the virtues of intellectual exercise through writing, extolling poetry as a means of exercising the mind.

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