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.
T.S. (Thomas Stearns) Eliot (1888–1965), Anglo-American poet, critic. repr. In Selected Prose of T.S. Eliot, ed. Frank Kermode (1975). Tradition and the Individual Talent, sect. 1, Egoist (London, September and December 1919).