chapter  15
4 Pages

Belief 1929

WithT. S. Eliot

The theory of poetic belief and understanding here employed for a particular study is similar to that maintained by Mr. I. A. Richards. The author says 'similar', because his own general theory is still embryonic, and Mr. Richards is also capable of much further development. The author cannot therefore tell how far the similarity extends; but for those who are interested in the subject, he should point out one respect in which his view differs from that of Mr. Richards; and then proceed to qualify author's own tentative conclusions. The author denies, in short, that the reader must share the beliefs of the poet in order to enjoy the poetry fully. He has also asserted that one can distinguish between Dante's beliefs as a man and his beliefs as a poet.