They are not to be ignored. He must be an impersonal and objective like a scientist. And I do not mean the impressionable period of adolescence, but the period of full maturity. Eliot's essay disputed Freud's argument, valuing the collective unconscious over the individual subconscious. The mind of the poet is the shred of platinum. The relationship between the past and the present is not one-sided; it is a reciprocal relationship. But Eliot says poetry is not so but an escape from personality.
But his vision observes the world quite differently. He must continue to acquire the sense of tradition throughout his career. For example, emotions which result from the reading of books can serve his turn. Eliot is rather vague about how a poet is to do this — leaving others to ponder it at length. What does the essay argue? Even emotions which he has never personally experienced can serve the purpose of poetry.
He argues that every contemporary artist perpetually surrenders to the old tradition, of his path of progress and thus offers a sacrifice of original creation and sense of individuality, a willful waiver off authorial independence. The past is modified by the present also in the sense that we can look at the past literature always through ever renewing perceptive of the present. The implications here separate Eliot's idea of talent from the conventional definition just as his idea of Tradition is separate from the conventional definition , one so far from it, perhaps, that he chooses never to directly label it as talent. This balance of contrasted emotion is in the dramatic situation to which the speech is pertinent, but that situation alone is inadequate to it. He can perceive from life-experience what common man cannot see at all. A writer with the sense of tradition is fully conscious of his own generation, of his place in the present, but he is also acutely conscious of his relationship with the writers of the past. I like the concept that poet should create in heat but correct at leisure and lick his poems into shape.
The poet must possess the critical gift in ample measure. However, Eliot did not explicate how the subjective sentiments are to be morphed into an unbiased and universal canvass. In this way Eliot is celebrating both novelty and conformity. And this process of concentration is neither conscious nor deliberate; it is a passive one. 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. And, it is the sign, and not the poet, which creates emotion.
A writer with the sense of tradition is fully conscious of his own generation, of his place in the present, but he is also acutely conscious of his relationship with the writers of the past. The first part, while making safer claims than the second, is pure gold. Such a course is impossible as well as undesirable. The ode of Keats contains a number of feelings which have nothing particular to do with the nightingale, but which the nightingale, partly, perhaps, because of its attractive name, and partly because of its reputation, served to bring together. He cannot know where he stands in the scheme of things. Throughout Eliot 's works, the author expressed his views on social.
And we do not quite say that the new is more valuable because it fits in; but its fitting in is a test of its value—a test, it is true, which can only be slowly and cautiously applied, for we are none of us infallible judges of conformity. The past must be examined critically and only the significant in it should be acquired. And the poet can know what is to be done, only if he acquires a sense of tradition, the historic sense, which makes him conscious, not only of the present, but also of the present moment of the past, not only of what is dead, but of what is already living. It is the mistaken notion that the poet must express new emotions that results in much eccentricity in poetry. He regrets that in our appreciation of authors we hardly include their connections with those living and dead. The poet is not supposed to compose poetry which is full of his personal emotions.
Just as there is no trace of the catalyst platinum left in sulphurous acid, there is no trace of the poet's mind in tradition. Tradition is not only a mere imitation of the past. His emotions and passions must be depersonalised; he must be as impersonal and objective as a scientist. It is a judgment, a comparison, in which two things are measured by each other. But this judgment does not mean determining good or bad. This combination takes place only in the presence of platinum, which acts as the catalyst.
Few people know when there is expression of significant emotion emotion which has life and not history of poet. I am alive to a usual objection to what is clearly part of my programme for the métier of poetry. We say: it appears to conform, and is perhaps individual, or it appears individual, and many conform; but we are hardly likely to find that it is one and not the other. Perhaps they are; but we might remind ourselves that criticism is as inevitable as breathing, and that we should be none the worse for articulating what passes in our minds when we read a book and feel an emotion about it, for criticizing our own minds in their work of criticism. This combination takes place only if the platinum is present; nevertheless the newly formed acid contains no trace of platinum, and the platinum itself is apparently unaffected; has remained inert, neutral, and unchanged. He regrets that in our appreciation of authors we hardly include their connections with those living and dead. Eliot's essay was interesting for two reasons in particular.