For rhyme can beat a measure out of trouble

The formation of representational concepts, more than anything else, distinguishes the artist from nonartist. Does the artist experience world and life differently from the ordinary man? There is no reason to think so. To be sure, he must be deeply concerned with—and impressed by—his experience. He also must have the wisdom to find significance in individual occurrences by understanding them as symbols of universal truths. These qualities are indispensable, but they are not limited to artists. The artist’s privilege is the capacity to apprehend the nature and meaning of an experience in terms of a given medium, and thus to make it tangible. The nonartist is left “speechless” by the fruits of his sensitive wisdom. He cannot give them adequate material form. He expresses himself, more or less articulately, but not his experience. During the moments in which a human being is an artist, he finds shape for the bodiless structure of what he has felt. “For rhyme can beat a measure out of trouble.”

Rudolf Arnheim, Art and Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye

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