T. S. Eliot, fully Thomas Sterns Eliot

T. S.
Eliot, fully Thomas Sterns Eliot

American-born English Poet, Playwright, and Literary Critic

Author Quotes

Success is relative. It is what we can make of the mess we have made of things.

The definition of hell is a place where nothing connects with nothing.

The more highly industrialized the country, the more easily a materialistic philosophy will flourish in it, and the more deadly that philosophy will be. Britain has been highly industrialized longer than any other country. And the tendency of unlimited industrialism is to create bodies of men and women — of all classes — detached from tradition, alienated from religion and susceptible to mass suggestion: in other words, a mob. And a mob will be no less a mob if it is well fed, well clothed, well housed, and well disciplined.

The soul of Man must quicken to creation.

There is not a more repulsive spectacle than on old man who will not forsake the world, which has already forsaken him.

This form, this face, this life living to live in a world of time beyond me; let me resign my life for this life, my speech for that unspoken, the awakened, lips parted, the hope, the new ships.

To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;

We are the hollow men. We are the stuffed men leaning together headpiece filled with straw. Alas! Our dried voices, when we whisper together are quiet and meaningless as wind in dry grass or rats' feet over broken glass in our dry cellar shape without form, shade without color, paralyzed force, gesture without motion.

We see the light but see not whence it comes. O Light Invisible, we glorify Thee!

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?

You are the music while the music lasts.

In this brief transit where the dreams cross. The dream-crossed twilight between birth and dying (Bless me father) though I do not wish to wish these things from the wide window towards the granite shore. The white sails still fly seaward, seaward flying unbroken wings and the lost heart stiffens and rejoices. In the lost lilac and the lost sea voices and the weak spirit quickens to rebel for the bent golden-rod and the lost sea smell quickens to recover the cry of quail and the whirling plover and the blind eye creates the empty forms between the ivory gates. And smell renews the salt savour of the sandy earth. This is the time of tension between dying and birth. The place of solitude where three dreams cross between blue rocks. But when the voices shaken from the yew-tree drift away, let the other yew be shaken and reply.

It's strange that words are so inadequate. Yet, like the asthmatic struggling for breath, so the lover must struggle for words.

Most of the evil in this world is done by people with good intentions.

No I am not Prince Hamlet nor was meant to be, am an attendant lord one that will do to swell a progress start a scene or two. Advise the prince no doubt an easy tool deferential glad to be of use. Politic cautious and meticulous, full of high sentence but a bit obtuse at times indeed almost idiculous— almost at times the Fool. I grow old … I grow old … I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. Shall I part my hair behind Do I dare to eat a peach? I shall wear white flannel trousers and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing each to each. I do not think that they will sing to me. I have seen them riding seaward on the waves combing the white hair of the waves blown back when the wind blows the water white and black. We have lingered in the chambers of the sea by sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown till human voices wake us and we drown.

One starts an action simply because one must do something.

Philosophy - the purple bullfinch in the lilac tree.

Shape without form, shade without color, Paralyzed force, gesture without motion; Those who have crossed With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom Remember us-if at all-not as lost Violent souls, but only As the hollow men The stuffed men.

Teach us to care and not to care. Teach us to sit still.

The detective story, as created by Poe, is something as specialized and as intellectual as a chess problem, whereas the best English detective fiction has relied less on the beauty of the mathematical problem and much more on the intangible human element... In The Moonstone the mystery is finally solved, not altogether by human ingenuity, but largely by accident. Since Collins, the best heroes of English detective fiction have been, like Sergeant Cuff, fallible.

The morning comes to consciousness.

The still point in a turning world.

There is one order of beauty which seems made to turn heads. It is a beauty like that of kittens, or very small downy ducks making gentle rippling noises with their soft bills, or babies just beginning to toddle.

This is how the world ends: not with a bang but a whimper.

To rest in your own suffering is evasion of suffering. We must learn to suffer more.

Author Picture
First Name
T. S.
Last Name
Eliot, fully Thomas Sterns Eliot
Birth Date
Death Date

American-born English Poet, Playwright, and Literary Critic