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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. But, of course, only those we have personality and emotion know what it means to want to escape from these things.

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Source Notes: Verified from the preface of Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times, Neil Astley (ed.) - thanks Matthew! This is a T. S. Eliot quote from an essay titled "Tradition and the Individual Talent"

A bit about T. S. Eliot ...

Thomas Stearns Eliot, OM (September 26, 1888 - January 4, 1965) was a poet, dramatist and literary critic, whose works, such as The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, The Waste Land, "The Hollow Men", and Four Quartets, are considered defining achievements of twentieth century Modernist poetry. The winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1948, he is considered one of the most influential poets of the 20th century. Although he was born an American, he moved to the United Kingdom in 1914 (at age 25) and was naturalised as a British subject in 1927 at age 39.

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