This chapter discusses the first word of the Ars Poetica, humano (human), which heralds the poem's concern with all that living entails. This casts the scope of the work far beyond poetry from the start. As the poem progresses, this is borne out by Horace's striking focus on human emotions, on life cycles (whether of people or words), on nature and human nature, and on spoken language, all of which are given far greater prominence than seems justified in the ostensible context of creating believable characters for the stage. Horace's concern is with all human endeavor—the ars vivendi (art of living). If the Ars Poetica is read for how it expresses itself, moreover, rather than merely for what it says, it emerges as an ideal exemplum of art, the whole proving seamless and lending itself to being remade in new ways by every reader and upon every reading.
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