Famous Quotes By T. S. Eliot


  1. A play should give you something to think about. When I see a play and understand it the first time, then I know it can't be much good.
  2. A toothache, or a violent passion, is not necessarily diminished by our knowledge of its causes, its character, its importance or insignificance.
  3. All significant truths are private truths. As they become public they cease to become truths they become facts, or at best, part of the public character or at worst, catchwords.
  4. Art never improves, but... the material of art is never quite the same.
  5. As things are, and as fundamentally they must always be, poetry is not a career, but a mug's game. 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.Business today consists in persuading crowds.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.
  9. Home is where one starts from.
  10. I am an Anglo-Catholic in religion, a classicist in literature and a royalist in politics.
  11. I don't believe one grows older. I think that what happens early on in life is that at a certain age one stands still and stagnates.
  12. I had seen birth and death but had thought they were different.
  13. I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope, For hope would be hope for the wrong thing.
  14. I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
  15. It is only in the world of objects that we have time and space and selves.
  16. Knowledge is invariably a matter of degree: you cannot put your finger upon even the simplest datum and say this we know.
  17. Our high respect for a well read person is praise enough for literature.
  18. Poetry may make us from time to time a little more aware of the deeper, unnamed feelings which form the substratum of our being, to which we rarely penetrate for our lives are mostly a constant evasion of ourselves.
  19. Poetry should help, not only to refine the language of the time, but to prevent it from changing too rapidly.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. The communication of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.
  23. The last thing one discovers in composing a work is what to put first.
  24. There is no method but to be very intelligent.
  25. This love is silent.
  26. We know too much, and are convinced of too little. Our literature is a substitute for religion, and so is our religion.
  27. 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.
  28. Where is all the knowledge we lost with information?
  29. 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?
  30. You are the music while the music lasts.

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