Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism” as Want to Read:
The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  88 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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 266)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
Celine marked it as to-read
May 29, 2015
Rachel added it
May 25, 2015
abcdefg marked it as to-read
May 22, 2015
Damianszmu marked it as to-read
May 16, 2015
TM added it
May 15, 2015
Truls Krane
Truls Krane marked it as to-read
Apr 26, 2015
Lika_k added it
Apr 25, 2015
N.J. Ramsden
N.J. Ramsden marked it as to-read
Apr 24, 2015
Srdjan Solkotovic
Srdjan Solkotovic marked it as to-read
Apr 20, 2015
Soonha marked it as to-read
Apr 15, 2015
Kacie is currently reading it
May 03, 2015
Saleem Sultani
Saleem Sultani marked it as to-read
Apr 10, 2015
Harry Fulgencio
Harry Fulgencio marked it as to-read
Mar 24, 2015
Jessica Harvey
Jessica Harvey marked it as to-read
Mar 16, 2015
Rodney Ulyate
Rodney Ulyate marked it as to-read
Mar 12, 2015
Noah Benham
Noah Benham marked it as to-read
Mar 01, 2015
Laura marked it as to-read
Mar 01, 2015
Laura marked it as to-read
Feb 23, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Dyer's Hand
  • The Second Common Reader
  • The Art of the Novel
  • Axel's Castle: A Study of the Imaginative Literature of 1870-1930
  • Literary Essays of Ezra Pound
  • Studies in Classic American Literature
  • Literature and the Gods
  • The Pound Era
  • The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction
  • Mythic Worlds, Modern Words: Joseph Campbell on the Art of James Joyce
  • Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays
  • Less Than One: Selected Essays
  • Misreadings
  • The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry
  • Five Faces of Modernity
  • This Craft of Verse
  • The Well Wrought Urn: Studies in the Structure of Poetry
  • The Romantic Agony
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

Share This Book

“To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one man's life.” 2219 likes
More quotes…