Tuesday, August 12, 2008

An Island, Greek?

I've been meaning for ages to post up this super little snippet of T.S. Eliot from The Frontiers of Criticism, but buying some selected critical prose of his today has given me the final nudge.

It amuses me mainly as someone who struggles with the odd classical poem myself, but also because I keep misreading it as "I should imagine myself to be a Greek island ..."

'What matters most, let us say, in reading an ode of Sappho, is not that I should imagine myself to be an island Greek of twenty-five hundred years ago; what matters is the experience which is the same for all human beings of different centuries and languages capable of enjoying poetry, the spark which can leap across those 2,500 years.'

T.S. Eliot: The Frontiers of Criticism (1956)

No comments: