Sunday, January 17, 2010

what is poetry?

Glass plate, Kookaburras, c. 1884-1917 from Powerhouse Museum Collection

There is a very entertaining interview with TS Eliot, published in The Bed Post (1962) in which the interviewer asks: what do you feel to be function of poetry? Eliot replies:

‘The function of poetry is to give pleasure and if you ask what kind of pleasure I can only say the kind of pleasure that poetry gives. But I think good poetry is doing something for the reader that is beyond pleasure. It isn’t merely pleasure; it is an enhancement of life, an enlargement of our sensibility and is doing something which to those who enjoy it makes life more worth living.’

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