Though the quote is usually attributed to T. My mind was blown. In my earlier, more literate, youth, poetry and poets occupied a great deal of my time. I could not imagine T. Eliot would have said such a thing. I searched the Internet and found that the quote mostly appeared only where Bill Hammack was quoted or in articles he had written.
He always attributed it to T. When I failed to find any reliable reference to the quote, I decided to go to the source; or, to a source that would lead me in the right direction. I knew there had to be a scholarly society dedicated to T.
Lo and behold, I found the T. Even better I discovered that one of the officers was a professor of English at my undergraduate alma mater, University of Wisconsin, Madison. I had to know if T. I honestly did not expect to hear back from Professor Pondrom for two reasons: While sitting in the movie theater watching Casino Royale, my BlackBerry alerted me that I had received a message.
To my amazement, Professor Pondrum responded with the actual quote as it appeared in T. Apparently, the playwright Massinger may have relied a bit Immature poets imitate mature poets steal heavily from time to time on William Shakespeare, with whom he overlapped in time. So, here is the paragraph from the essay which contains the language which Bill Hammick has bastardized to make a statement that neither T. Eliot nor Picasso ever made:.
One of the surest tests [of the superiority or inferiority of a poet] is the way in which a poet borrows.
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different than that from which it is torn; the bad poet throws it into something which has no cohesion. A good poet will usually borrow from authors remote in time, or alien in language, or diverse in interest.
In his essay on Philip Massinger, T. I have not gone to the lengths I went to debunk the T.
In fact, the publisher of a range of resources for quotations has made all of the books, including Bartletts and Columbia, available online.
Only two quotes using the word copy are attributed to Picasso, none with steal or borrow. Paraphrasing is fine, but attributing a paraphrase as a quote is intellectually and academically dishonest.
Both versions of the quote have been adopted and implemented into culture by people justifying broad fair use arguments or their own habits. Significantly, it is unfair that either of the great artists have been affiliated with a quote that does not reflect them, or their work. This post Immature poets imitate mature poets steal a great deal of traffic from search engines. I would greatly appreciate hearing feedback from you.
For example, did the information in the post change the way you used the quote? A comment would be great, or you can email me at nancyprager at yahoo dot com. Email Print Facebook Twitter Like this: She represents a wide range of clients on matters from intellectual property to estate planning.
Before starting her own practice, she practiced with firms in Memphis and Atlanta, as well as providing business development services to technology companies. She launched her practice to offer strategic legal services to clients at an affordable rate. Additionally, Nancy is a sought after speaker and writer on issues related to the convergence Immature poets imitate mature poets steal intellectual property, technology and media.
Nancy was asked to write a series of commentaries for News. She has spoken to organizations and conferences around the country on issues related to the convergence of technology, content and intellectual property, as well as strategic legal issues for companies, individuals and artists.
Journalists often rely on Nancy as a resource for emerging legal issues. Nancy has a strong commitment to social justice. She has founded, or co-founded, a number of organizations and programs that provide tangible services to their constituencies.
For example, while a student in law school she developed the Domestic Violence Advocacy Center that provides legal services to victims of domestic violence. The Politics of Music: June 19, at 1: For example, let Immature poets imitate mature poets steal take a popular book of the last decade: Examining the main character, we can easily see a number of traits that are quite strikingly not original: Suddenly, that boy is also gifted with magical, even destined powers; do Timothy Hunter and Arthur Pendragon not spring to mind?
Even if not a masterpiece of all time, by all acounts, it certainly is well written to be considered great. Nancy, thanks for your research here and for making it available on the internet.
I provided the Eliot quotation to the U of Buffalo poetry listserv and a link to your blog post at Fictionaut. As for Harry Potter. A lot of it was ripped, sometimes very thinly vieled from the Lord of the Rings. And on and on and on. A lot of it was ripped, sometimes very thinly vieled from Star Wars. Harry is Luke, Hermione is Leia and Ron is Han barely even bothered a name change, Immature poets imitate mature poets steal both pair off at the endDumbledore is Obi-Wan, Fred and George are C-3PO and R-2, Voldemort and Snape represent a mix of the features of Palpatine and Darth Vader, magic is the Force, wizards are Jedi and their Immature poets imitate mature poets steal are light sabers, magical creatures are alien creatures, fan fiction is fan fiction, Quidditch is pod racing … I could go on.
I saw a version of this quote in a YouTube video detailing plagiarism by Led Zepplin from others including blues masters. Let me add my thanks to clearing the air about this elusive quote. I had heard that T.
Eliot had said the original phrase but had never been able to find the exact quote.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know, That music hath a far more pleasing sound. I grant I never saw a goddess go; My mistress when she walks treads on the ground. And yet by heaven I think my love as rare As any she belied with false compare. That quote from Marcel Duchamp might well become my favorite quote of all time! Forgive my long response, but you said you were interested in feedback, Immature poets imitate mature poets steal this is often on my mind.
What else would they be saying? The entire poem is a composite. A transformative composite, yes. A new work of art made from the Immature poets imitate mature poets steal materials of other texts. Now I can give them the whole thing. Truthfully, I am justifying both my own habits as a writer and my broad fair use arguments when I appeal to this line.
I believe Eliot meant what I mean, and that he is my corner, artistically speaking. Of course writers and artists build on each other. Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal Tongfamily. My Google search took me straight to you — where I found exactly what I needed — so thanks for that!
Thanks to you and Cyrena Pondrom, for enriching the internet with some actual scholarship. I was looking for the original source of this quote, too.