recognize and respond

“An Angel” by Marianne Stokes

The gleam of an heroic act
Such strange illumination
The Possible’s slow fuse is lit
By the Imagination.
~ Emily Dickinson
(The Poems of Emily Dickinson, #1686)

The concern of the Primary Imagination, its only concern, is with sacred beings and events. The sacred is that to which it is obliged to respond; the profane is that to which it cannot respond and therefore does not know… A sacred being cannot be anticipated, it must be encountered… All imaginations do not recognize the same sacred beings or events, but every imagination responds to those it recognizes in the same way.
~ W. H. Auden
(The Dyer’s Hand)