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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

Poetry and the Art of Speech
GA 281

From What Has Significance for the Senses to What Is Moved by the Spirit: A Note by Marie Steiner

A Note by Marie Steiner

The additional lectures included in this book form a valuable supplement to the material originally put forward on the art of recitation and declamation. They fill out what has already been said and make it whole. Though the foundations and essentials of the subject had been laid down, repetitions were necessary because of the different places in which they were discussed. But new prospects were constantly opening up, permitting a further penetration to be made and these ought not to be omitted from a work that intends to build on those foundations. Light was repeatedly being shed from different angles on this domain, which we can now survey in retrospect and grasp as a whole. There is sometimes an effect of mere repetition – but this repetitiveness will itself facilitate a wider comprehension of the field, as we are here concerned with a deeper and not simply an intellectual knowledge. Nowadays in our reading we easily pass over the essential, accustomed as we are to taking things in as quickly as possible and with the intellect alone. Through repetition, in fact, certain things are impressed more deeply and vitally upon us, without our being aware of it. For the kind of cognition which embraces the whole man, we need more time than our frantic daily routine affords.

We present first a lecture Rudolf Steiner gave in July 1921 in Darmstadt on the invitation of the anthroposophical Academic Group (Hochschulbund). Then the one held during the West-East Congress in Vienna, June 1922 – despite the regrettable number of gaps in the transcript. The poems used to illustrate points that had been made earlier have sometimes been augmented here with further examples for the same purpose, thus swelling the number of texts. And finally we present the lecture Rudolf Steiner held on the same subject during the Artistic-Pedagogical Conference in Stuttgart, Easter 1923. For him it was particularly important that art should flow into education as a basic force. For in it he saw an actual mode of deliverance from the slow stifling of man’s soul and spirit. In the word, he experienced directly the weaving of divine creative forces. For him aesthetic creativity meant “rendering rhythmic, harmonic and plastic what is spiritual in the psychic and physical functions”. [16] From what has significance for the senses to what is moved by the spirit – this is the path Rudolf Steiner pointed out to us for the art of recitation and declamation.