We dwell with satisfaction upon the poet’s difference from his predecessors….Whereas if we approach a poet without this prejudice we shall often find that not only the best, but the most individual parts of his work may be those in which the dead poets, his ancestors, assert their immortality most vigorously…
Yet if the only form of tradition, of handing down, consisted in following the ways of the immediate generation before us in a blind or timid adherence to its successes, “tradition” should positively be discouraged….Tradition is a matter of much wider significance. It cannot be inherited, and if you want it you must obtain it by great labour.
— T.S. Eliot, “Tradition and the Individual Talent” from The Sacred Wood (1921).
I think T.S. Eliot might have appreciated the labours of Jane Mickelborough. Although I’ll be too busy at Greenwood Fest to take her class on making the fantastic folding spoons that she has delved into with hand and mind, I’m excited for the chance to talk with her about them and other things. She’s coming all the way from Brittany (that French peninsula that seems to be reaching westward), and I hope she’ll be wearing a Bigouden.
Jane’s work is amazing. If you haven’t seen this recent post by Peter Follansbee featuring an interview with her, check it out.