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00092--Discuss T.S. Eliot's Impersonal Theory of Poetry.




            The central point of T.S. Eliot's Impersonal Theory of Poetry is that 'the poet, the man, and the poet, the artist are two different entities'.  The poet has no 'personality' of his own.  He submerges his own personality, his own feelings and experiences into the personality and feelings of the subject of his poetry.
            The experiences or impressions which are obviously autobiographical may be of great interest to the writer himself, but not to his readers.  The more perfect the poet, the more completely separate in him will be the man who experiences and creates.
            The mind of the poet is like the shred of platinum without which a certain chemical reaction cannot take place, but the platinum remains unaffected.  In the same way the mind of the poet remains unaffected during his poetic composition.  So Eliot says, "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".
            T.S. Eliot states, "The emotion of art is impersonal.  And the poet cannot reach this impersonality without surrendering himself wholly to the work to be done".
            Impressions and experiences which are important for the man may take no place in his poetry; and those which are important in his poetry may play a very negligible role in his life and personality.  The poet must suppress his personal feelings.  "The progress of the artist is a continual self-sacrifice, a continual extinction of personality".





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