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The Cover
July 12, 2000

A Cover Without Art

Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD

JAMA. 2000;284(2):149. doi:10.1001/jama.284.2.149

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."

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