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 historical sense involves a perception, not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence.

The progress of an artist is a continual self-sacrifice, a continual extinction of personality.

There are times when one feels that has fallen apart and simultaneously sees himself in the middle of the road studying individual parts, wondering if he will be able to mount again and what kind of artefaco will.

Things … Can it be … really! … No! … Yes! …

To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not, you must go by away wherein there is no ecstasy. In order to arrive at what you do not know you must go by a way which is the way of ignorance. In order to possess what you do not possess you must go by the way of dispossession. In order to arrive at what you are not you must go through the way in which you are not. And what you do not know is the only thing you know and what you own is what you do not own and where you are is where you are not.

Upon the glazen shelves kept watch Matthew and Waldo, guardians of the faith The army of unalterable law.

We must learn to suffer more.

Whatever you think, be sure it is what you think; whatever you want, be sure that is what you want; whatever you feel, be sure that is what you feel.

Words move, music moves only in time; but that which is only living can only die. Words, after speech, reach into the silence. Only by the form, the pattern, can words or music reach the stillness...

It is not in his personal emotions, the emotions provoked by particular events in his life, that the poet is in any way remarkable or interesting. His particular emotions may be simple, or crude, or flat. The emotion in his poetry will be a very complex thing, but not with the complexity of the emotions of people who have very complex or unusual emotions in life. One error, in fact, of eccentricity in poetry is to seek for new human emotions to express; and in this search for novelty in the wrong place it discovers the perverse. The business of the poet is not to find new emotions, but to use the ordinary ones and, in working them up into poetry, to express feelings which are not in actual emotions at all.

Like a patient, etherized on a table

Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point.

O perpetual revolution of configured stars, o perpetual recurrence of determined seasons, o world of spring and autumn, birth and dying! The endless cycle of idea and action, endless invention, endless experiment, brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness; knowledge of speech, but not of silence; knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word. All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance, all our ignorance brings us nearer to death, but nearness to death no nearer to God. Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries bring us farther from God and nearer to the Dust.

Out of the slimy mud of words, out of the sleet and hail of verbal imprecisions, approximate thoughts and feelings, words that have taken the place of thoughts and feelings, there spring the perfect order of speech, and the beauty of incantation.

Quick now, here now, always- A condition of complete simplicity (costing not less than everything) And all shall be well All manner of things shall be well When the tongues of flame are in-folded Into the crowned knot of fire And the fire and rose are one.

Someone said, 'The dead writers are remote from us because we know so much more than they did.' Precisely, and they are that which we know.

The business of the poet is not to find new emotions, but to use the ordinary ones and, in working them up into poetry, to express feelings which are not in actual emotions at all.

The lady of situations.

The readers of the Boston Evening Transcript Sway in the wind like a field of ripe corn.

There is another way, if you have the courage.

Think neither fear nor courage saves us. Unnatural vices are fathered by our heroism. Virtues are forced upon us by our impudent crimes. These tears are shaken from the wrath-bearing tree.

To believe in the supernatural is not simply to believe that after living a successful, material, and fairly virtuous life here one will continue to exist in the best-possible substitute for this world, or that after living a starved and stunted life here one will be compensated with all the good things one has gone without: it is to believe that the supernatural is the greatest reality here and now.

Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought.

We must not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time.

When a great poet has lived, certain things have been done once for all, and cannot be achieved again.

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