Monthly Archives: February 2016

Thursday Thoughts: T.S. Eliot Quote

T. S. Eliot had a theory about poetry, which he explained in an essay called Tradition and the Individual Talent. “Most of us,” Eliot wrote, “think of poets as people who express their feelings in verse.” He thought poetry was stranger than that. As Eliot saw it, poets were less like people and more like laboratories. “The poet has, not a ‘personality’ to express,” he wrote, “but a particular medium . . . in which impressions and experiences combine in peculiar and unexpected ways.” Within this medium, ordinary emotions are compressed together until they produce an “art emotion”—an emotion that doesn’t exist in ordinary life, and is available only through the poem. That’s the whole point of poetry: while we’re under its spell, we’re not ourselves, or anyone; we feel things no ordinary person feels. “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,” he concluded.

The above is quoted from a New Yorker article.

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Upcoming Art Show

If you're in the area

The show will be up for all of March

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Thursday Thoughts: Fame vs. Obscurity

With great success often come a loss of creative freedom. The famous artist suddenly finds himself in a place where he must keep being successful and must not deviate too far from the path that brought him to fame. The fear of failure, which is always present, becomes magnified by the size of the audience. His financial status becomes even more closely tied to the attention and respect he garners. There are many who have found both fame and satisfaction, but there are also many who have found fame a narrow one-way path with high walls.

Those of us who find ourselves working in relative obscurity, who have the privilege of walking an average path, should use our freedom to explore. It doesn’t take much to meet basic financial needs and the walls along our path are small and no one will mind if we foray into the untamed woods occasionally.

It often seems that even in the face of low monetary success that artists can find great creative satisfaction. Explore what you will and let the world decide who they want to notice and ignore. It matters little.

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