Tom Eliot — a very practical cat. Did T.S. Eliot simply recycle every personal experience into poetry?

Daniel Swift 

THE SPECTATOR 

January 2015 


http://www.spectator.co.uk/2015/01/tom-eliot-a-very-practical-cat-did-t-s-eliot-simply-recycle-every-personal-experience-into-poetry/


Recycling, yes. But with an imaginative transmutation of facts into artifacts. 


Who is the third who walks always beside you? 
When I count, there are only you and I together 
But when I look ahead up the white road 
There is always another one walking beside you 
Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded 
I do not know whether a man or a woman 
—But who is that on the other side of you? 

What finally matters is what poetic use Eliot makes of a given experience. 


CR