Notable Quotes
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All dash to and fro in motor cars,
Familiar with the roads and settled nowhere.

T.S. ELIOT, The Rock

I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

T.S. ELIOT, The Waste Land

Death has a hundred hands and walks by a thousand ways.

T.S. ELIOT, Murder in the Cathedral

History has many cunning passages, contrived corridors and issues.

T.S. ELIOT, Gerontion

I journeyed to London, to the timekept City,
Where the River flows, with foreign flotations.
There I was told: we have too many churches,
And too few chop-houses.

T.S. ELIOT, The Rock

The Church must be forever building, for it is forever decaying within and attacked from without.

T.S. ELIOT, The Rock

The True Church can never fail
For it is based upon a rock.

T.S. ELIOT, The Hippopotamus

Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness.

T.S. ELIOT, The Rock

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.

T.S. ELIOT, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

The lawn
Is pressed by unseen feet, and ghosts return
Gently at twilight, gently go at dawn,
The sad intangible who grieve and yearn....

T.S. ELIOT, To Walter de la Mare

This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

T.S. ELIOT, The Hollow Men

In my beginning is my end.

T.S. ELIOT, "East Coker," Four Quartets

War is not a life: it is a situation,
One which may neither be ignored nor accepted.

T.S. ELIOT, A Note on War Poetry

I have given you the power of choice, and you only alternate
Between futile speculation and unconsidered action.

T. S. ELIOT, The Rock

It is a test (a positive test, I do not assert that it is always valid negatively), that genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.

T. S. ELIOT, "Dante"

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.

T. S. ELIOT, preface, Transit of Venus

Destiny waits in the hand of God, not in the hands of statesmen.

T. S. ELIOT, Murder in the Cathedral

The soul of Man must quicken to creation.

T. S. ELIOT, The Rock

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.

T. S. ELIOT, The Sacred Wood

There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands,
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

T. S. ELIOT, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

The lot of man is ceaseless labor,
Or ceaseless idleness, which is still harder.

T. S. ELIOT, The Rock

Ambition fortifies the will of man to become ruler over other men: it operates with deception, cajolery, and violence, it is the action of impurity upon impurity.

T. S. ELIOT, Murder in the Cathedral

The bad poet is usually unconscious where he ought to be conscious, and conscious where he ought to be unconscious.

T. S. ELIOT, Tradition and the Individual Talent

One thing you cannot know:
The sudden extinction of every alternative,
The unexpected crash of the iron cataract.
You do not know what hope is, until you have lost it.
You only know what it is not to hope:
You do not know what it is to have hope taken from you.

T. S. ELIOT, The Family Reunion

The years between fifty and seventy are the hardest. You are always being asked to do more, and you are not yet decrepit enough to turn them down.

T. S. ELIOT, Time Magazine, Oct. 23, 1950

No verse is free for the man who wants to do a good job.

T. S. ELIOT, The Music of Poetry

When the Stranger says: "What is the meaning of this city?
Do you huddle close together because you love each other?"
What will you answer? "We all dwell together
To make money from each other"? or "This is a community"?

T. S. ELIOT, The Rock

The awful daring of a moment's surrender
Which an age of prudence can never retract
By this, and this only, we have existed.

T. S. ELIOT, The Waste Land

Human kind cannot bear very much reality.

T. S. ELIOT, Murder in the Cathedral

If the lost word is lost, if the spent word is spent
If the unheard, unspoken
Word is unspoken, unheard;
Still is the unspoken word, the Word unheard,
The Word without a word, the Word within
The world and for the world;
And the light shone in darkness and
Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled
About the centre of the silent Word.

T. S. ELIOT, Ash-Wednesday

Men have left GOD not for other gods, they say, but for no God; and this has never happened before.

T. S. ELIOT, The Rock

I grow old ... I grow old ...
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

T. S. ELIOT, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

In life there is not time to grieve long.

T. S. ELIOT, Murder in the Cathedral

Men tighten the knot of confusion
Into perfect misunderstanding.

T. S. ELIOT, The Family Reunion

Unreal City,
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
To where St Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
With a dead sound on the final stock of nine.

T. S. ELIOT, The Waste Land

I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each. I do not think that they will sing to me.

T. S. ELIOT, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance.

T. S. ELIOT, The Rock

For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.

T. S. ELIOT, Four Quartets

Browse T. S. Eliot Quotes II

T.S. Eliot Poems - a collection of his poetry.

T.S. Eliot Bibliography - a bibliography, including list of critical resources.


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