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The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism
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The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  92 ratings  ·  7 reviews
The 1932-33 Norton Lectures are among the best and most important of Eliot's critical writings. Tracing the rise of literary self-consciousness from the Elizabethan period to his own day, Eliot does not simply examine the relation of criticism to poetry, but invites us to "start with the supposition that we do not know what poetry is, or what it does or ought to do, or of ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published July 1st 1986 by Harvard University Press (first published January 1st 1964)
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Eliot wisely refuses to articulate a theory of poetry. Poetry is not to be defined by its uses, but by the "philosophical mind" that the work of any given poet presents to the reader; and while distinguishing good poetry from bad is hard, distinguishing good minds from bad is less so.
Sherwood Smith
A slow reread is so rewarding. Most of what he says about poetry can be said for fiction. Eliot refuses to form a theory of poetry, or to define it. Instead, he talks about the experience of poetry, and about how difficult it is to pin down the poem that is perceived somewhere between poet and reader.

He speaks about how Shelley is the poet of adolescents; how Keats exhibits his genius more through his letters than through his poetry, which was just beginning to mature before he died; he talks ab
Bonnie Skepis
There is a lot to learn about English poetry in this book, in a way Eliot never imposes his views on the reader, rather explains how subjective the criticism of poetry actually is and how there could never be a set definition for what makes it "good" or "bad".
The book is meant to be read more than once, because one could not possibly absorb that much information on the subject without mastering it, and even so, even if one masters the subject, as times goes by, the maturity one gains from life
J. Alfred
Eliot's series of talks endeavors to ascertain what poetry does for people, as seen in the people who talk about it throughout the ages. He finds that there are some constants, but that poetry, both form and content to an extent, are inextricably connected with the age in which it is written. It's a good clear look at how to enjoy poetry, what it can be reasonably expected to do for us, and what it can mean for a given people, all of which end up being pretty wide-open. Eliot seems to be saying ...more
Liam Guilar
The difference between /T.S.Eliot/ the implied author of "Selected Prose' or "Collected Essays" and /T.S.Eliot/ the implied author of a sustained argument like this one is intriguing.

While the Eliot of the anthologies, and the one off essay always seems oddly dated and the argument vulnerable, here he is following the thread of an argument through the lecture series. He is precise, elegant and judicious. He puts his own prejudices on the table. If the conclusion does quite come off and the lect
Eva Konič
To much of Eliot is probably too much :)
Jonathan Tobias
One of the most important books I've read
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Thomas Stearns Eliot was a poet, dramatist and literary critic. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948 "for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry." He wrote the poems The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, The Waste Land, The Hollow Men, Ash Wednesday, and Four Quartets; the plays Murder in the Cathedral and The Cocktail Party; and the essay Tradition and the Individ ...more
More about T.S. Eliot...
The Waste Land and Other Poems The Waste Land Collected Poems, 1909-1962 The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and Other Poems Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats

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