Pearls from artists* # 224November 30, 2016
* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
… wise writers decline to engage in debates over the right way to read their words. T.S. Eliot was once approached with a question about a cryptic line from his poem “Ash-Wednesday”: “Lady, three white leopards sat under a juniper-tree.” What did the line mean? The poet replied: “I mean, ‘Lady, three white leopards sat under a juniper-tree .” Creating a text, Eliot seems to be saying, like having a child, only means bringing something into the world. It doesn’t include the power to control it’s destiny.
Adam Kirsch in “Can You Read a Book the Wrong Way?”, The New York Times Book Review, Sept. 27, 2016.
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