T. S. Eliot, fully Thomas Sterns Eliot

T. S.
Eliot, fully Thomas Sterns Eliot
1888
1965

American-born English Poet, Playwright, and Literary Critic

Author Quotes

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.

Infinitely suffering thing. Wipe your hand across your mouth, and laugh; the worlds revolve like ancient women gathering fuel in vacant lots.

A cold coming we had of it, just the worst time of the year for a journey, and such a long journey: The ways deep and the weather sharp, the very dead of winter. And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory, Lying down in the melting snow. There were times we regretted the summer palaces on slopes, the terraces, and the silken girls bringing sherbet. Then the camel men cursing and grumbling and running away, and wanting their liquor and women, and the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters, And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly And the villages dirty and charging high prices: A hard time we had of it. At the end we preferred to travel all night, sleeping in snatches, with the voices singing in our ears, saying That this was all folly. Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley, Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation, with a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness, and three trees on the low sky. And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow. Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel, six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver, And feet kicking the empty wine-skins. But there was no information, and so we continued and arrived at evening, not a moment too soon Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory. All this was a long time ago, I remember, and I would do it again, but set down this set down this: were we led all that way for Birth or Death? There was a birth, certainly, We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death, but had thought they were different; this Birth was hard and bitter agony for us, like death, our death. We returned to our places, these Kingdoms, But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation, with an alien people clutching their gods. I should be glad of another death.

Moving between the legs of tables and of chairs, rising or falling, grasping at kisses and toys, advancing boldly, sudden to take alarm, retreating to the corner of arm and knee, eager to be reassured, taking pleasure in the fragrant brilliance of the Christmas tree.

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.

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.

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 a medium of entertainment which permits millions of people to listen to the same joke at the same time, and yet remain lonesome.

Author Picture
First Name
T. S.
Last Name
Eliot, fully Thomas Sterns Eliot
Birth Date
1888
Death Date
1965
Bio

American-born English Poet, Playwright, and Literary Critic