American-born English Poet, Playwright, and Literary Critic
T. S. Eliot, fully Thomas Sterns Eliot
American-born English Poet, Playwright, and Literary Critic
You will go on, and when you have prevailed. You can say: at this point many a one has failed. But what have I, but what have I, my friend, to give you, what can you receive from me? Only the friendship and the sympathy of one about to reach her journey's end. I shall sit here, serving tea to friends...
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 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 which is not to be found in our obituaries or in memories draped by the beneficent spider or under seals broken by the lean solicitor in our empty rooms.
Not fare well, but fare forward.
Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
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.
So here I am, in the middle way, having had twenty years- Twenty years largely wasted, the years of l'entre deux guerres-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, undisciplined squads of emotion. And what there is to conquer by strength and submission, has already been discovered once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope to emulate - but there is no competition -there is only the fight to recover what has been lost and found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions that seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss. For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.
That makes me so digress?
The end is where we start from.
The one thing you can do is to do nothing. Wait . . . You will find that you survive humiliation and that's an experience of incalculable value.
The word within a word, unable to speak a word.
There's no water here is just a rock, rock with no water and the sandy road. The road winding among the mountains above us between rocks boulders without water. If there were water and drank standing but among the rocks, or think you cannot afford a pot and dry feet stuck in the sand. If it were water flowed from the rock. Dead mountain mouth is rotten teeth cannot spit. Here you cannot afford to sit or lie, I is not even silence in the mountains only dry sterile thunder without rain, and even solitude in the mountains is not only gloomy red faces - mock and scoff. At the door of the cracked clay huts if there were water and no rock. If there were rock but water and the water source in the rock pond if there was even the sound of water. A cicada is not dry grass and singing. But sound of water the rock where the hermit thrush-singing among pines. Krop drip drip drip drip full stop drip. But there is no water Who is the third who walks always beside you? If we count, we are just you and me But when I look ahead into the white road always someone else walks beside you, STAP wrapped brown jacket, the hood I do not know if it's a woman or a man - who is this, who is going after your other side? What is the sound high in the air murmur of maternal lamentation What is the hordes in hoods, as swarms of the endless plains, stuck on cracked earth surrounded by the flat horizon only What is the city over the mountain chain breaks and heals and splatters - in purple wind collapsing towers.
Those who trust us educate us.
Twentieth-century art may start with nothing, but it flourishes by virtue of its belief in itself, in the possibility of control over what seems essentially uncontrollable, in the coherence of the inchoate, and in its ability to create its own values.
We had the experience but missed the meaning. And approach to the meaning restores the experience in a different form.
What is actual is actual only for one time, and only for one place.
Why should men love the Church? Why should they love her laws? She tells them of Life and Death, and of all they would forget. She is tender where they would be hard, and hard where they like to be soft. She tells them of Evil and Sin, and other unpleasant facts. They constantly try to escape from the darkness outside and within by dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good.
Your burden is not to clear your conscience but to learn how to bear the burdens on your conscience.
It is impossible to design a system so perfect that no one needs to be good.
Let's not be narrow, nasty, and negative.
My greatest trouble is getting the curtain up and down.
Not the intense moment, isolated, with no before and after, but a lifetime burning in every moment.
Or whatever event, this is your real destination.'
Poetry may make us from time to time a little more aware of the deeper, unnamed feelings which form the substratum of our being, to which we rarely penetrate; for our lives are mostly a constant evasion of ourselves.