T.S. Eliot on Poetry

T.S. Eliot

“It may make us from time to time a little more aware of the deeper, unnamed feelings which form the substratum of our being, to which we rarely penetrate; for our lives are mostly a constant evasion of ourselves.”

~ Quoted in Matrix of Modernism by Sanford Schwartz

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“If you want to write poetry, keep away from pencils and paper and typewriters until you have overcome the temptation…Whatever you think, be sure that’s what you think; whatever you want, be sure that’s what you want; whatever you feel, be sure that’s what you feel.”

~ From an address at Milton Academy, June 17, 1933

From East Coker
(No. 2 of Four Quartets)

From Wikipedia: East Coker is a village in Somerset, England from which T.S. Eliot's ancestors emigrated to Boston in 1660. Eliot visited the village in 1936-7 and his ashes are buried in the churchyard. Inside the church a plaque memorializing him was placed in 1965. It contains the words of his chosen epitaph, the opening and closing lines from East Coker: “in my beginning is my end"/"in my end is my beginning”. East Coker represents earth.