“The artist must be aware of the obvious fact that art never improves, but the material of art is never quite the same.”

“The mind of the mature poet differs from that of the immature one not precisely in any valuation of ‘personality’, not being necessarily more interesting, or having ‘more to say’, but rather by being a more finely perfected medium in which special or very varied feelings are at liberty to enter into new combinations.”

“The more perfect the artist, the more completely separate in him will be the man who suffers and the mind which creates; the more perfectly will the mind digest and transmute the passions which are its material.”

“For it is not the ‘greatness’, the intensity of the emotions, the components, but the intensity of the artistic process, the pressure, so to speak, under which the fusion takes place, that counts.”

“Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion: it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.”

 

Read “Tradition and the Individual Talent”, by T.S. Eliot

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