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Eliot goes on to note the difference between personal emotions of the poet and the emotion of poetry itself. While personal emotions may be simple, the expression of these emotions may be complex. While it is not the role of the poet to express new emotions, the poet should express ordinary emotions in new ways. Eliot then goes on to reject Wordsworth’s theory of poetry that is has “its origin in emotions recollected in tranquillity”. He believes that the composition of poetry does not require emotion, recollection or tranquillity, but that original poetry results from concentration on experiences. He also argues that this concentration should not be deliberate but passive. Poetry should be an escape from the poet, not a reflection of them. Eliot is not denying the poet personality but is declaring that the impersonality required to create good poetry can only be achieved when the poet surrenders themselves to the poetry they create. In part three of the essay, Eliot concludes that the poet is only capable of surrendering themselves to their work if they have acquired a good sense of tradition. “And he is not likely to know what is to be done unless he lives in what is not merely the present, but the present moment of the past, unless he is conscious, not of what is dead, but of what is already living.” By this he means that the poet should be conscious not only of their position within the literary cannon of the past but also where they belong in the literature of the present and how their poetry is relevant as a statement of the world in which it is created.


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