T. S. Eliot, fully Thomas Sterns Eliot

T. S.
Eliot, fully Thomas Sterns Eliot

American-born English Poet, Playwright, and Literary Critic

Author Quotes

The very existence of libraries affords the best evidence that we may yet have hope for the future of man.

There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.

This love is silent.

Turning wearily, as one would turn to nod goodbye to Rochefoucauld, if the street were time and he as the end of the street.

We do not quite say that the new is more valuable because it fits in; but its fitting in is a test of its value - a test, it is true, which can only be slowly and cautiously applied, for we are none of us infallible judges of conformity.

What have we given? My friend, blood shaking my heart the awful daring of a moment's surrender which an age of prudence can never retract by this, and this only, we have existed.

Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? The cycles of heaven in twenty centuries have bought us farther from God and nearer to the dust.

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.

It is certain that a book is not harmless merely because no one is consciously offended by it.

Last season's fruit is eaten and the full-fed beast shall kick the empty pail. For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice.

My external sensations are no less private to myself than are my thoughts or my feelings. In either case my experience falls within my own circle, a circle closed on the outside; and, with all its elements alike, every sphere is opaque to the others which surround it. . . . In brief, regarded as an existence which appears in a soul, the whole world for each is peculiar and private to that soul.

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 ridiculous- Almost, at times, the Fool.

Only the fool, fixed in his folly, may think he can turn the wheel on which he turns.

Poetry is a mug's game.

So far as we are human, what we do must be either evil or good: so far as we do evil or good, we are human: and it is better, in a paradoxical way, to do evil than to do nothing: at least we exist.

That is the worst moment, when you feel you have lost the desires for all that was most desirable, before you are contented with what you can desire; before you know what is left to be desired; and you go on wishing that you could desire what desire has left behind. But you cannot understand. How could you understand what it is to feel old?

The dripping blood our only drink, the bloody flesh our only food: in spite of which we like to think that we are sound, substantial flesh and blood--Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.

The Nobel is a ticket to one's own funeral. No one has ever done anything after he got it.

The winter evening settles down with smell of steaks in passageways. Six o'clock. The burnt-out ends of smoky days. And now a gusty shower wraps the grimy scraps of withered leaves about your feet. And newspapers from vacant lots; the showers beat on broken blinds and chimney-pots, and at the corner of the street a lonely cab-horse steams and stamps. And then the lighting of the lamps.

There's no vocabulary for love within a family, love that's lived in but not looked at, love within the light of which all else is seen, the love within which all other love finds speech. This love is silent.

This oval O cropped out with teeth.

Twelve o'clock. Along the reaches of the street Held in a lunar synthesis.

We don't actually fear death, we fear that no one will notice our absence, that we will disappear without a trace.

What have we to do but stand with empty hands and palms turned upwards in an age which advances progressively backwards?

Who is the third who walks always beside you? When I count, there are only you and I together but when I look ahead up the white road there is always another one walking beside you gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded I do not know whether a man or a woman -But who is that on the other side of you?

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