The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate,
Eliot knew well how fragile and, ultimately, how inadequate words can
be when we use them in the task of expressing human thought and feeling. They
"strain, crack and sometimes break, under the burden," he writes in Burnt Norton. When they fail, pictures—a kind of
visual shorthand—often take their place: "One picture is worth more
than a thousand words," says the ancient Chinese proverb (the word "thousand"
meaning a number beyond counting). Closer to our own time, Samual Palmer,
the William Blake–influenced English painter, called a picture "something
between a thing and a thought."
Southgate MT. A Cover Without Art. JAMA. 2000;284(2):149. doi:10.1001/jama.284.2.149