T. S. Eliot, fully Thomas Sterns Eliot

T. S.
Eliot, fully Thomas Sterns Eliot

American-born English Poet, Playwright, and Literary Critic

Author Quotes

They don't understand what it is to be awake, to be living on several planes at once though one cannot speak with several voices at once.

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.

Uncorsetted, her friendly bust gives promise of pneumatic bliss.

We might remind ourselves that criticism is as inevitable as breathing, and that we should be none the worse for articulating what passes in our minds when we read a book and feel an emotion about it, for criticizing our own minds in their work of criticism.

What profession is more trying than that of author? After you finish a piece of work it only seems good to you for a few weeks; or if it seems good at all you are convinced that it is the last you will be able to write; and if it seems bad you wonder whether everything you have done isn’t poor stuff really; and it is one kind of agony while you are writing, and another kind when you aren’t.

With Cats, some say, one rule is true: don’t speak till you are spoken to. Myself, I do not hold with that I say, you should ad-dress a Cat. But always keep in mind that he resents familiarity. I bow, and taking off my hat,ad-dress him in this form: O Cat! But if he is the Cat next door, whom I have often met before (He comes to see me in my flat) I greet him with an oopsa Cat! I think I've heard them call him James — but we've not got so far as names.

It is human, when we do not understand another human being, and cannot ignore him, to exert an unconscious pressure on that person to turn him into something that we can understand: many husbands and wives exert this pressure on each other. The effect on the person so influenced is liable to be the repression and distortion, rather than the improvement, of the personality; and no man is good enough to have the right to make another over in his own image.

Last year's words belong to last year's language, and next year's words await another voice.

My life is light, waiting for the death wind, like a feather on the back of my hand.

Now that the lilacs are in bloom she has a bowl of lilacs in her room.

Our emotions are only incidents in the effort to keep day and night together.

Poetry, if it is not to be a lifeless repetition of forms, must be constantly exploring the frontiers of the spirit. But these frontiers are not like the surveys of geographical explorers, conquered once for all and settled. The frontiers of the spirit are more like the jungle which, unless continuously kept under control, is always ready to encroach and eventually obliterate the cultivated area.

So the lover must struggle for words.

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

The essential advantage for a poet is not to have a beautiful world with which to deal; it is to be able to see beneath both beauty and ugliness; to see the boredom, and the horror, and the glory.

The Pekes and the Pollicles, everyone knows, are proud and implacable, passionate foes; it is always the same, wherever one goes. And the Pugs and the Poms, although most people say that they do not like fighting, will often display every symptom of wanting to join in the fray. And they bark bark bark bark bark bark until you can hear them all over the park.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes the yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes licked its tongue into the corners of the evening lingered upon the pools that stand in drains let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap and seeing that it was a soft October night curled once about the house, and fell asleep

They had an extensive reputation.

Time past and time future, what might have been and what has been point to one end, which is always present.

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. There I saw one I knew, and stopped him crying: 'Stetson! You, who were with me in the ships at Mylae! That corpse you planted last year in your garden, has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year? Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed? Oh keep the Dog far hence, that's friend to men, or with his nails he'll dig it up again! You! hypocrite lecteur!-mon semblable,-mon frere!

We must always take risks. That is our destiny...

What we call the beginning is often an end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.

With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling we shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive at what we started and know the place for the first time.

It is impossible to design a system so perfect that no one needs to be good.

Let's not be narrow, nasty, and negative.

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