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

Men tighten the knot of confusion into perfect misunderstanding.

No honest poet can ever feel quite sure of the permanent value of what he has written: he may have wasted his time and messed up his life for nothing.

One of the surest tests of the superiority or inferiority of a poet is the way in which a poet borrows. Immature poets imitate mature poets steal bad poets deface what they take and good poets make it into something better or at least something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique utterly different than that from which it is torn the bad poet throws it into something which has no cohesion. A good poet will usually borrow from authors remote in time or alien in language or diverse in interest.

Philosophy - the purple bullfinch in the lilac tree.

Shape without form, shade without color, Paralyzed force, gesture without motion; Those who have crossed With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom Remember us-if at all-not as lost Violent souls, but only As the hollow men The stuffed men.

Teach us to care and not to care. Teach us to sit still.

The detective story, as created by Poe, is something as specialized and as intellectual as a chess problem, whereas the best English detective fiction has relied less on the beauty of the mathematical problem and much more on the intangible human element... In The Moonstone the mystery is finally solved, not altogether by human ingenuity, but largely by accident. Since Collins, the best heroes of English detective fiction have been, like Sergeant Cuff, fallible.

The morning comes to consciousness.

The tiger springs in the new year. Us he devours.

There is one who remembers the way to your door: Life you may evade, but Death you shall not.

This is one moment, but know that another shall pierce you with a sudden painful joy.

Truth on our level is a different thing from truth for the jellyfish.

We die to each other daily. What we know of other people is only our memory of the moments during which we knew them. And they have changed since then. To pretend that they and we are the same is a useful and convenient social convention which must sometimes broken. We must also remember that at every meeting we are meeting a stranger.

Webster was much possessed by death and saw the skull beneath the skin.

When we read of human beings behaving in certain ways, with the approval of the author, who gives his benediction to this behavior by his attitude towards the result of the behavior arranged by himself, we can be influenced towards behaving in the same way.

You do not know what hope is, until you have lost it. You only know what it is not to hope: you do not know what it is to have hope taken from you.

In the vain laughter of folly, wisdom hears half its applause.

It's not wise to violate rules until you know how to observe them.

Most contemporary novels are not really written. They obtain what reality they have largely from an accurate rendering of the noises that human beings currently make in their daily simple needs of communication; and what part of a novel is not composed of these noises consists of a prose which is no more alive than that of a competent newspaper writer or government official. A prose that is altogether alive demands something of the reader that the ordinary novel-reader is not prepared to give.

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 idiculous— almost at times the Fool. I grow old … I grow old … I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. Shall I part my hair behind Do I dare to eat a peach? I shall wear white flannel trousers and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing each to each. I do not think that they will sing to me. I have seen them riding seaward on the waves combing the white hair of the waves blown back when the wind blows the water white and black. We have lingered in the chambers of the sea by sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown till human voices wake us and we drown.

One starts an action simply because one must do something.

Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead, Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell And the profit and loss.

She laughed I was aware of becoming involved in her laughter and being part of it, until her teeth were only accidental stars with a talent for squad-drill. I was drawn in by short gasps, inhaled at each momentary recovery, lost finally in the dark caverns of her throat, bruised by the ripple of unseen muscles. An elderly waiter with trembling hands was hurriedly spreading a pink and white checked cloth over the rusty green iron table, saying: If the lady and gentleman wish to take their tea in the garden, if the lady and gentleman wish to take their tea in the garden ... I decided that if the shaking of her breasts could be stopped, some of the fragments of the afternoon might be collected, and I concentrated my attention with careful subtlety to this end.

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

The difference between being an elder statesman And posing successfully as an elder statesman Is practically negligible.

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