T. S. Eliot, fully Thomas Sterns Eliot

T. S.
Eliot, fully Thomas Sterns Eliot

American-born English Poet, Playwright, and Literary Critic

Author Quotes

No time to rejoice for those who walk among noise and deny the voice.

One thinks of all the hands that are raising dingy shades In a thousand furnished rooms.

Playwriting gets into your blood and you can't stop it. At least not until the producers or the public tell you to.

Should I, after tea and cakes and ices, have the strength to force the moment to its crisis? But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed, though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter, I am no prophet--and here's no great matter; I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker, I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker and in short, I was afraid.

That corpse you planted last year in your garden,'Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?

The dove descending breaks the air with flame of incandescent terror of which the tongues declare the one discharge from sin and error. The only hope, or else despair lies in the choice of pyre or pyre- to be redeemed from fire by fire. Who then devised the torment? Love. Love is the unfamiliar Name behind the hands that wove the intolerable shirt of flame which human power cannot remove. We only live, only suspire consumed by either fire or fire.

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter, it isn't just one of your holiday games; you may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter when I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES. First of all, there's the name that the family use daily, such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James, such as Victor or Jonathan, or George or Bill Bailey - all of them sensible everyday names. There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter, some for the gentlemen, some for the dames: such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter - But all of them sensible everyday names. But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular, a name that's peculiar, and more dignified, else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular, or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride? Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum, such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat, such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum - names that never belong to more than one cat. But above and beyond there's still one name left over, and that is the name that you never will guess; the name that no human research can discover - but THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess. When you notice a cat in profound meditation, the reason, I tell you, is always the same: his mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name: his ineffable effable Effanineffable deep and inscrutable singular Name.

The universality of irritation is the best assurance of peace. A country within which the divisions have gone too far is a danger to itself: a country which is too well united — whether by nature or by device, by honest purpose or by fraud and oppression — is a menace to others. In Italy and in Germany, we have seen that a unity with politico-economic aims, imposed violently and too rapidly, had unfortunate effects upon both nations. Their cultures have developed in the course of a history of extreme, and extremely sub-divided regionalism: the attempt to teach Germans to think of themselves as Germans first, and the attempt to teach Italians to think of themselves as Italians first, rather than as natives of a particular small principality or city, was to disturb the traditional culture from which alone any future culture could grow.

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.

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

Trying to use words, and every attempt Is a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure because one has only learnt to get the better of words. For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which one is no longer disposed to say it. And so each venture is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate with shabby equipment always deteriorating in the general mess of imprecision of feeling,

We do not pass through the same door twice or return to the door through which we did not pass

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow out of this stony rubbish? Son of man, you cannot say, or guess, for you know only a heap of broken images, where the sun beats, and the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief, and the dry stone no sound of water. Only there is shadow under this red rock, (Come in under the shadow of this red rock), And I will show you something different from either your shadow at morning striding behind you or your shadow at evening rising to meet you; I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

Where does one go from a world of insanity? Somewhere on the other side of despair.

You have come to where the word 'insult' has no meaning; and you must put up with that.

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.

Lady of silences Calm and distressed Torn and most whole Rose of memory Rose of forgetfulness Exhausted and life-giving Worried reposeful The single Rose Is now the Garden Where all loves end Terminate torment Of love unsatisfied The greater torment Of love satisfied End of the endless Journey to no end Conclusion of all that Is inconclusible speech without word and word of no speech. Grace to the Mother for the garden where all love ends.

Mr. Aldous Huxley, who is perhaps one of those people who have to perpetrate thirty bad novels before producing a good one, has a certain natural - but little developed - aptitude for seriousness.

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

Only by acceptance of the past will you alter its meaning.

Poetry can communicate before it is understood.

Simple and faithless as a smile and shake of the hand.

That is not it at all, that is not what I meant, at all.

The dream crossed twilight between birth and dying.

The nightingales are singing near The Convent of the Sacred Heart, And sang within the bloody wood When Agamemnon cried aloud, And let their liquid siftings fall To stain the stiff dishonored shroud.

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