"Poetry is the most subtle of the literary arts, and students grow more ingenious by the year at avoiding it. If they can nip around Milton, duck under Blake and collapse gratefully into the arms of Jane Austen, a lot of them will."
"All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling."Terry Eagleton on Oscar Wilde
"A poet can survive everything but a misprint."Terry Eagleton on Oscar Wilde
"Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things."Terry Eagleton on T. S. Eliot
"Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words."Terry Eagleton on Robert Frost
"A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness."Terry Eagleton on Robert Frost
"Most poetry in the modern age has retreated to the private sphere, turning its back on the political realm."
"In the end, the humanities can only be defended by stressing how indispensable they are and this means insisting on their vital role in the whole business of academic learning, rather than protesting that, like some poor relation, they don't cost much to be housed."
"The conversion of agnostic High Tories to the Anglican church is always rather suspect. It seems too pat and predictable, too clearly a matter of politics rather than faith."
"Dawkins considers that all faith is blind faith, and that Christian and Muslim children are brought up to believe unquestioningly. Not even the dim-witted clerics who knocked me about at grammar school thought that."
"The German philosopher Walter Benjamin had the curious notion that we could change the past. For most of us, the past is fixed while the future is open."