100 Inspirational Quotes By T. S. Eliot, The Author Of Four Quartets
St. Louis, Missouri, United States
20th century Britain saw the emergence of one of the most ground-breaking poets in English literature in Thomas Stearns Eliot. An essayist, poet, publisher, playwright, literary and social critic by profession, Eliot first rose to prominence with his maiden poem, ‘The Love Story of J Alfred Prufrock’ attracted widespread attention. The poem was a masterpiece of the Modernist movement and was followed by equally successful poems including his magnum opus, ‘The Waste Land’, which became one of the most talked about poems in literary history, and others such as ‘The Hollow Men’, ‘Ash Wednesday’ and ‘Four Quartets’. It was for his outstanding contribution to modern day poetry that Eliot received the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature. Most of his poems articulated the disillusionment of a younger post-World War I generation with the values and conventions, both literary and social, of the Victorian era. In addition to being a renowned poet, Eliot was an important playwright, whose verse dramas include ‘Murder in the Cathedral’, ‘The Family Reunion’, and ‘The Cocktail Party’. Eliot’s brilliance at words and thoughts is equally visible in his meaningful quotes that are sure to make you ponder. This collection of quotes by T S Eliot is sure to make you view life with a new perspective!
For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice. Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one man's life. This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper. We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time. Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse. Sometimes things become possible if we want them bad enough. April is the cruelest month, breeding
lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
memory and desire, stirring
dull roots with spring rain. For I have known them all already, known them all—
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons. The very existence of libraries affords the best evidence that we may yet have hope for the future of man Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood. Most of the evil in this world is done by people with good intentions. I will show you fear in a handful of dust. If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are? There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet. What is hell? Hell is oneself.
Hell is alone, the other figures in it
Merely projections. There is nothing to escape from
And nothing to escape to. One is always alone. Humankind cannot bear very much reality. You are the music while the music lasts. Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow If you haven’t the strength to impose your own terms upon life, then you must accept the terms it offers you. 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. For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning."
(Little Gidding) Footfalls echo in the memory, down the passage we did not take, towards the door we never opened, into the rose garden. 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. What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from. Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me. Anxiety is the handmaiden of creativity 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. Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal. These fragments I have shored against my ruins Love is most nearly itself
When here and now cease to matter. Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future
And time future contained in time past. It will do you no harm to find yourself ridiculous.
Resign yourself to be the fool you are...
...We must always take risks. That is our destiny... Distracted from distraction by distraction I learn a great deal by merely observing you, and letting you talk as long as you please, and taking note of what you do not say. Words strain,
Crack and sometimes break, under the burden,
Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,
Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place,
Will not stay still. Light
The visible reminder of Invisible Light. Success is relative. It is what we make of the mess we have made of things. I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter. Where does one go from a world of insanity? Somewhere on the other side of despair. The purpose of literature is to turn blood into ink. We don't actually fear death, we fear that no one will notice our absence, that we will disappear without a trace. I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker, and I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker, and in short, I was afraid. There is one who remembers the way to your door: Life you may evade, but Death you shall not. Do I dare Disturb the universe? Teach us to care and not to care We do not pass through the same door twice
Or return to the door through which we did not pass There is no feeling, except the extremes of fear and grief, that does not find relief in music. An election is coming. Universal peace is declared and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry. 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? We had the experience but missed the meaning. And approach to the meaning restores the experience in a different form. Humor is also a way of saying something serious. I should have been a pair of ragged claws/ Scuttling across the floors of silent seas. I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business. 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 I can connect
Nothing with nothing Music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but
you are the music
While the music lasts. So I find words I never thought to speak
In streets I never thought I should revisit
When I left my body on a distant shore. The last act is the greatest treason. To do the right deed for the wrong reason. We read many books, because we cannot know enough people. For you know only a heap of broken images No one can become really educated without having pursued some study in which he took no interest- for it is a part of education to learn to interest ourselves in subjects for which we have no aptitude. 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. My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me.
'Speak to me. Why do you never speak? Speak.
'What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?
'I never know what you are thinking. Think. Except for the point, the still point, There would be no dance, and there is only the dance Unreal friendship may turn to real
But real friendship, once ended, cannot be mended It's not wise to violate the rules until you know how to observe them. 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. Men dislike being awakened from their death in life. Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in infomation? I am moved by fancies that are curled, around these images and cling, the notion of some infinitely gentle, infinitely suffering thing. 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. People to whom nothing has ever happened cannot understand the unimportance of events. Footfalls echo in the memory
down the passage we did not take
towards the door we never opened
into the rose garden. My words echo
thus, in your mind 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. Every experience is a paradox in that it means to be absolute, and yet is relative; in that it somehow always goes beyond itself and yet never escapes itself. Only by acceptance of the past, can you alter it 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. Time past and time future
what might have been and what has been
point to one end, which is always present. This is one moment, / But know that another / Shall pierce you with a sudden painful joy. We ask only to be reassured
About the noises in the cellar
And the window that should not have been open Where is the Life we lost in living? There's no vocabulary For love within a family, love that's lived in But not looked at, love within the light of which All else is seen, the love within which All other love finds speech. This love is silent. And indeed there will be time to wonder, 'Do I dare?', and 'Do I dare? 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. I have measured out my life in coffee spoons. My mind may be American but my heart is British. The historical sense involves a perception, not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence Only through time time is conquered We must learn to suffer more.
He who was living is now dead
We who were living are now dying
With a little patience.
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it towards some overwhelming question
Of lovers whose bodies smell of each other
Who think the same thoughts without need of speech
I am glad you have a Cat, but I do not believe it is So remarkable a cat as My Cat.
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
Hell is oneself,
Hell is alone. Till Human voices wake us, and we drown.