T. S. Eliot Quotes

Most popular T. S. Eliot Quotes

Do I dare disturb the universe?
— T. S. Eliot
Saint and Martyr rule from the tomb.

saint

The journey, not the arrival, matters.
— T. S. Eliot

Travel

Human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.

reality

I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

fear

Poetry ought to be as well written as prose.
— T. S. Eliot
There is no method but to be very intelligent.
— T. S. Eliot

intelligence

Men live by forgetting—women live on memories.

men and women

Liberty is a different kind of pain from prison.

freedom

The great poet, in writing himself, writes his time.

poets

A tradition without intelligence is not worth having.
— T. S. Eliot

tradition

All great poetry gives the illusion of a view of life.
— T. S. Eliot
Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.

poetry

Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.
— T. S. Eliot

writers editors

The circle of our understanding
Is a very restricted area.

understanding

Our literature is a substitute for religion, and so is our religion.

literature

Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important.
— T. S. Eliot

human nature

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out just how far to go.

risk-taking

Between the idea/And the reality/Between the motion/And the act/Falls the Shadow.
— T. S. Eliot
The communication
Of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.

death communication

Music heard so deeply that it is not heard at all, but you are the music while it lasts.
— T. S. Eliot
For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.

new year

The progress of an artist is a continual self-sacrifice, a continual extinction of personality.
— T. S. Eliot

artists

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope, For hope would be hope for the wrong thing.
— T. S. Eliot

hope

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information.
— T. S. Eliot
And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
— T. S. Eliot

home Travel famous

Humility is the most difficult of all virtues to achieve; nothing dies harder than the desire to think well of oneself.
— T. S. Eliot

humility

Before a Cat will condescend
To treat you as a trusted friend,
Some little token of esteem
Is needed, like a dish of cream.

cats

For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
— T. S. Eliot

waiting

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.

television

Radio is a medium of entertainment which permits millions of people to listen to the same joke at the same time, and yet remain lonesome.
— T. S. Eliot

technology

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.
— T. S. Eliot

history

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?
— T. S. Eliot

knowledge and wisdom

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.

poetry

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.
— T. S. Eliot
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.

words

I love you to the limits of speech, and beyond.
It's strange that words are so inadequate.
Yet, like the asthmatic struggling for breath,
So the lover must struggle for words.

words love

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
Or to fling it away, to join the legion of the hopeless
Unrecognized by other men, though sometimes by each other.

hope hopelessness

Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm—but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.