Thanks to you indeed – to my exposure to you, and the exposure of others to you – I was able just now, with a single reference to a passionate 19th century poet, to communicate a body of meaning and feeling to you without need on my part to go further. You got it. We read the same books. We sat in the same classrooms. We had many of the same experiences. As a result, we share the same metaphors, the same idioms, the same allusions.
What good are the liberal arts?
Consider a world without them.
Consider a culture in which all communication consisted of text messages and tweets.
No metaphors, no idioms, no allusions.
“How do I love thee?”