Blog

42 Stupendous T. S. Eliot Quotes

Last updated on Sep 25th, 2020

42 Stupendous T. S. Eliot Quotes

Thomas Stearns Eliot, known as T. S. Eliot, (born September 26, 1888, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S. – died January 4, 1965, London, England) was an American-English poet and playwright, considered one of the most influential poets of 20th-century.

As a leader of the Modernist movement in poetry, he wrote some of the best-known poems in the English language, including The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (1915), The Waste Land (1922), Ash Wednesday (1930), and Four Quartets (1943).

In addition to poems, Eliot also wrote plays and essays. Most notable are Tradition and the Individual Talent (1919), Murder in the Cathedral (1935), and The Cocktail Party (1949).

In 1948, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, “for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry.”

April is the cruellest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain. - T. S. Eliot (The Waste Land Quotes)
1
April is the cruellest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain.I. The Burial of the Dead, The Waste Land (1922)
This is the way the world ends not with a bang but a whimper. - T. S. Eliot (The Hollow Men Quotes)
2
This is the way the world ends not with a bang but a whimper.The Hollow Men (1925)
Do I dare disturb the universe? In a minute there is time for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse. - T. S. Eliot (The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Quotes)
3
Do I dare disturb the universe? In a minute there is time for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (1915)
Only by going too far can we find out how far we can go. - T. S. Eliot (The Music of Poetry Quotes)
4
Only by going too far can we find out how far we can go.The Music of Poetry (1942)
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons. - T. S. Eliot (The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Quotes)
5
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (1915)
I will show you fear in a handful of dust. - T. S. Eliot (The Waste Land Quotes)
6
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.I. The Burial of the Dead, The Waste Land (1922)
We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. - T. S. Eliot (Four Quartets Quotes)
7
We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.Little Gidding (1942), Four Quartets (1943)
The Church must be forever building, and always decaying, and always being restored. - T. S. Eliot (The Rock Quotes)
8
The Church must be forever building, and always decaying, and always being restored.Part I, The Rock (1934)
War is not a life: it is a situation, one which may neither be ignored nor accepted, a problem to be met with ambush and stratagem, enveloped or scattered. - T. S. Eliot (London Calling Quotes)
9
War is not a life: it is a situation, one which may neither be ignored nor accepted, a problem to be met with ambush and stratagem, enveloped or scattered.A Note on War Poetry, London Calling (1942)
In my beginning is my end. - T. S. Eliot (Four Quartets Quotes)
10
In my beginning is my end.East Coker (1940), Four Quartets (1943)
Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood. - T. S. Eliot (Dante Quotes)
11
Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.I. The 'Inferno', Dante (1929)
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 Quotes)
12
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.Pfilip Massinger, The Sacred Wood (1920)
The lot of man is ceaseless labour, or ceaseless idleness, which is still harder. - T. S. Eliot (The Rock Quotes)
13
The lot of man is ceaseless labour, or ceaseless idleness, which is still harder.Part I, The Rock (1934)
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 Quotes)
14
The bad poet is usually unconscious where he ought to be conscious, and conscious where he ought to be unconscious.Tradition and the Individual Talent (1919)
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 Quotes
15
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.Time Magazine (October 23, 1950)
No verse is free for the man who wants to do a good job. - T. S. Eliot (The Music of Poetry Quotes)
16
No verse is free for the man who wants to do a good job.The Music of Poetry (1942)
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 Quotes)
17
The awful daring of a moment’s surrender which an age of prudence can never retract by this, and this only, we have existed.V. What the Thunder said, The Waste Land (1922)
Human kind cannot bear very much reality. - T. S. Eliot (Murder in the Cathedral Quotes)
18
Human kind cannot bear very much reality.Part II, Murder in the Cathedral (1935)
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 Quotes)
19
Men have left GOD not for other gods, they say, but for no God; and this has never happened before.Part II, The Rock (1934)
Only by acceptance of the past will you alter its meaning. - T. S. Eliot (The Cocktail Party Quotes)
20
Only by acceptance of the past will you alter its meaning.Act Three, The Cocktail Party (1950)
All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance. - T. S. Eliot (The Rock Quotes)
21
All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance.Part I, The Rock (1934)
In life there is not time to grieve long. - T. S. Eliot (Murder in the Cathedral Quotes)
22
In life there is not time to grieve long.Part II, Murder in the Cathedral (1935)
It will do you no harm to find yourself ridiculous. Resign yourself to be the fool you are. - T. S. Eliot (The Cocktail Party Quotes)
23
It will do you no harm to find yourself ridiculous. Resign yourself to be the fool you are.Act One, Scene 1, The Cocktail Party (1950)
The circle of our understanding is a very restricted area. - T. S. Eliot (The Family Reunion Quotes)
24
The circle of our understanding is a very restricted area.Part II, Scene III, The Family Reunion (1939)
Two people who know they do not understand each other, breeding children whom they do not understand and who will never understand them. - T. S. Eliot (The Cocktail Party Quotes)
25
Two people who know they do not understand each other, breeding children whom they do not understand and who will never understand them.Act Two, The Cocktail Party (1950)
What we call the beginning is often the end and to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from. - T. S. Eliot (Four Quartets Quotes)
26
What we call the beginning is often the end and to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.Little Gidding (1942), Four Quartets (1943)
In a play from the beginning you have to realize that you're preparing something which is going into the hands of other people, unknown at the time you're writing it. - T. S. Eliot Quotes
27
In a play from the beginning you have to realize that you’re preparing something which is going into the hands of other people, unknown at the time you’re writing it.The Art of Poetry No. 1, The Paris Review (Spring-Summer, 1959)
Only the fool, fixed in his folly, may think he can turn the wheel on which he turns. - T. S. Eliot (Murder in the Cathedral Quotes)
28
Only the fool, fixed in his folly, may think he can turn the wheel on which he turns.Part I, Murder in the Cathedral (1935)
Every moment is a fresh beginning. - T. S. Eliot (The Cocktail Party Quotes)
29
Every moment is a fresh beginning.Act Three, The Cocktail Party (1950)
Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? - T. S. Eliot (The Rock Quotes)
30
Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?Part I, The Rock (1934)
To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one man's life. - T. S. Eliot (The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism Quotes)
31
To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one man’s life.I. Introduction, The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism (1933)
Success is relative: It is what we can make of the mess we have made of things. - T. S. Eliot (The Family Reunion Quotes)
32
Success is relative: It is what we can make of the mess we have made of things.Part II, Scene III, The Family Reunion (1939)
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 Quotes)
33
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.Interlude, Murder in the Cathedral (1935)
What is hell? Hell is oneself, hell is alone, the other figures in it merely projections. There is nothing to escape from and nothing to escape to. One is always alone. - T. S. Eliot (The Cocktail Party Quotes)
34
What is hell? Hell is oneself, hell is alone, the other figures in it merely projections. There is nothing to escape from and nothing to escape to. One is always alone.Act One, Scene 3, The Cocktail Party (1950)
The business of the poet is not to find new emotions, but to use the ordinary ones and, in working them up into poetry, to express feelings which are not in actual emotions at all. - T. S. Eliot (Tradition and the Individual Talent Quotes)
35
The business of the poet is not to find new emotions, but to use the ordinary ones and, in working them up into poetry, to express feelings which are not in actual emotions at all.Tradition and the Individual Talent (1919)
You cannot face it steadily, but this thing is sure, that time is no healer: the patient is no longer here. - T. S. Eliot (Four Quartets Quotes)
36
You cannot face it steadily, but this thing is sure, that time is no healer: the patient is no longer here.The Dry Salvages (1941), Four Quartets (1943)
Our difficulties of the moment must always be dealt with somehow, but our permanent difficulties are difficulties of every moment. - T. S. Eliot (The Idea of a Christian Society Quotes)
37
Our difficulties of the moment must always be dealt with somehow, but our permanent difficulties are difficulties of every moment.'Preface' The Idea of a Christian Society (1939)
Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things. - T. S. Eliot (Tradition and the Individual Talent Quotes)
38
Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.Tradition and the Individual Talent (1919)
We know too much, and are convinced of too little. Our literature is a substitute for religion, and so is our religion. - T. S. Eliot (A Dialogue on Dramatic Poetry Quotes)
39
We know too much, and are convinced of too little. Our literature is a substitute for religion, and so is our religion.A Dialogue on Dramatic Poetry (1928)
People to whom nothing has ever happened cannot understand the unimportance of events. - T. S. Eliot (The Family Reunion Quotes)
40
People to whom nothing has ever happened cannot understand the unimportance of events.Part I, Scene II, The Family Reunion (1939)
Unreal friendship may turn to real but real friendship, once ended, cannot be mended. - T. S. Eliot (Murder in the Cathedral Quotes)
41
Unreal friendship may turn to real but real friendship, once ended, cannot be mended.Part I, Murder in the Cathedral (1935)
If you haven't the strength to impose your own terms upon life, you must accept the terms it offers you. - T. S. Eliot (The Confidential Clerk Quotes)
42
If you haven’t the strength to impose your own terms upon life, you must accept the terms it offers you.Act One, The Confidential Clerk (1954)