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Seamus Heaney on the Power of Eliot's Poetry

"All this persuades me that what is to be learned from Eliot is the double-edged nature of poetry reality: first encountered as a strange fact of culture, poetry is internalized over the years until it becomes, as they say, second nature. Poetry that was originally beyond you, generating the need to understand and overcome its strangeness, becomes in the end a familiar path within you, along which your imagination opens pleasurably backwards towards an origin and a seclusion. Your last state is therefore a thousand times better than your first, for the experience of poetry is one that truly deepens and fortifies itself with reenactment."

Culled from Heaney's Boston Review article to which I'd sent a link.

CR