Thomas Stearns Eliot OM was a poet, essayist, publisher, playwright, and literary and social critic. Profoundly inspirational TS Eliot quotes will encourage growth in life, make you wiser and broaden your perspective.
If you’re searching for poetry quotes that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of quotes from Walt Whitman, powerful Sylvia Plath quotes and famous William Blake quotes.
Famous TS Eliot Quotes
A national culture, if it is to flourish, should be a constellation of cultures, the constitutes of which, benefiting each other, benefit the whole.
And right action is freedom From past and future also.
Not the intense moment Isolated, with no before and after, But a lifetime burning in every moment.
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.
To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one man’s life.
If we really want to pray we must first learn to listen, for in the silence of the heart God speaks.
Where shall the word be found, where will the word / Resound? Not here, there is not enough silence.
It is only in the world of objects that we have time and space and selves.
You do not know how much they mean to me, my friends, And how, how rare and strange it is, to find In a life composed so much, so much of odds and ends, (For indeed I do not love it you knew? you are not blind! How keen you are!) To find a friend who has these qualities, Who has, and gives Those qualities upon which friendship lives. How much it means that I say this to you. Without these friendships-life, what cauchemar!
Teach us to care and not to care Teach us to sit still. Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
There will be time, there will be time To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet.
I do not believe that any writer has ever exposed this bovarysme, the human will to see things as they are not, more clearly than Shakespeare.
April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain.
Yeats was the greatest poet of our times certainly the greatest in this language, and so far as I am able to judge, in any language.
The role of art is not to express the personality but to overcome it.
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.
Bad poets imitate, good poets steal.
All time is eternal, moving inexorably toward an end which we believe is a result of our actions, but over which our control is mere illusion.
The greatest proof of Christianity for others is not how far a man can logically analyze his reasons for believing, but how far in practice he will stake his life on his belief.
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. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.
Every moment is a new and shocking transvaluation of all we have ever been.
Inspirational TS Eliot Quotes
Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important.
Maturing as a poet means maturing as the whole man, experiencing new emotions appropriate to one’s age, and with the same intensity as the emotions of youth.
When comparing works of art, it is important that the art itself, and not the artists, be considered.
If all time is eternally present, all time is unredeemable
The destination cannot be described; / You will know very little until you get there; / You will journey blind.
And all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well by the purification of the motive in the ground of our beseeching
It is in fact a part of the function of education to help us escape, not from our own time – for we are bound by that – but from the intellectual and emotional limitations of our time.
You gave me hyacinths first a year ago; They called me the hyacinth girl.’ Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden, Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither Living nor dead, and I knew nothing, Looking into the heart of light, the silence. Od’ und leer das Meer.
Of lovers whose bodies smell of each other Who think the same thoughts without need of speech
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
Humor is also a way of saying something serious.
If you start with a bang, you won’t end with a whimper.
Finding a way to live the simple life is one of life’s supreme complications.
Art serves us best precisely at that point where it can shift our sense of what is possible, when we know more than we knew before, when we feel we have – by some manner of a leap – encountered the truth. That, by the logic of art, is always worth the pain.
Justice itself tends to be corrupted by political passion.
life is long between the desire and the spasm.
Every nation, every race, has not only its own creative, but its own critical turn of mind; and is even more oblivious of the shortcomings and limitations of its critical habits than of those of its creative genius.
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.
Home is where one starts from.
Friendship should be more than biting time can sever.
A good half of the effort of understanding what the Indian philosophers were after and their subtleties make most of the great European philosophers look like schoolboys.
We do not pass twice through the same door Or return to the door through which we did not pass.
Top TS Eliot Quotes
No university ought to be merely a national institution….The universities should have their common ideals, they should have their common obligations toward each other. They should be independent of the governments of the countries in which they are situated. They should not be institutions for the training of an efficient bureaucracy, or for equipping scientists to get the better of foreign scientists; they should stand for the preservation of learning, for the pursuit of truth, and in so far as men are capable of it, the attainment of wisdom.
Only by acceptance of the past, can you alter it
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.
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.
The Nobel is a ticket to one’s own funeral. No one has ever done anything after he got it.
Any poet, if he is to survive beyond his 25th year, must alter; he must seek new literary influences; he will have different emotions to express.
As we grow older, the world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated of dead and living.
Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning, every poem an epitaph.
At the still point, there the dance is.
Where does one go from a world of insanity? Somewhere on the other side of despair.
Poetry is not an assertion of truth, but the making of that truth more fully real to us.
The darkness declares the glory of light.
Between the desire And the spasm, Between the potency And the existence, Between the essence And the descent, Falls the Shadow.
One thing you cannot know: The sudden extinction of every alternative, The unexpected crash of the iron cataract. 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.
We learn what poetry is if we ever learn by reading it.
Half of 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.
In our rhythm of earthly life we tire of light. We are glad when the day ends, when the play ends; and ecstasy is too much pain.
The very existence of libraries affords the best evidence that we may yet have hope for the future of man
A thousand policemen directing traffic cannot tell you why you come or where you go.
Everyone gets the experience. Some get the lesson.
There is, it seems to us, At best, only a limited value In the knowledge derived from experience.
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 be broken. We must also remember that at every meeting we are meeting a stranger.
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats, And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief, And the dry stone no sound of water. Only There is shadow under this red rock, (Come in under the shadow of this red rock), 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.
Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.
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.
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.
The young feel tired at the end of an action, the old at the beginning.
It is impossible to design a system so perfect that no one needs to be good.
The more perfect the artist, the more completely separate in him will be the man who suffers and the mind which creates.
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?
All time is unreedemable.
At the still point of the turning world.Neither flesh nor fleshless;Neither from nor towards;at the still point, there the dance is, But neither arrest nor movement.And do not all it fixity, Where past and future are gathered.Neither movement from nor towards, Neither ascent nor decline.Except for the point, the still point, There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.