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T. S. Eliot (Writer)

I am moved by fancies that are curled Around these images, and cling: The notion of some infinitely gentle Infinitely suffering thing.
T. S. Eliot suffering
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.
T. S. Eliot good
Mr. , who is perhaps one of those people who have to perpetrate thirty bad novels before producing a good one, has a certain natural — but little developed — aptitude for seriousness.
T. S. Eliot people
A dangerous person to disagree with.
T. S. Eliot anger
It is a test (a positive test, I do not assert that it is always valid negatively), that genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.
T. S. Eliot poetry
I am glad you have a Cat, but I do not believe it is So remarkable a cat as My Cat. My Cat is a Lilliecat Hubvously. What a lilliecat it is. There never was such a Lilliecat. Its Name is JELLYORUM and its one Idea is to be Usefull!!
T. S. Eliot believe
Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
T. S. Eliot will
It is self-evident that St. Louis affected me more deeply than any other environment has ever done. I feel that there is something in having passed one's childhood beside the big river, which is incommunicable to those people who have not. I consider myself fortunate to have been born here, rather than in Boston, or New York, or London.
T. S. Eliot people
It is certain that a book is not harmless merely because no one is consciously offended by it.
T. S. Eliot book
No verse is free for the man who wants to do a good job....Poetry..remains one person talking to another....no poet can write a poem of amplitude unless he is the master of the prosaic.
T. S. Eliot poem
The years between fifty and seventy are the hardest. You are always being asked to do more, and you are not yet decrepit enough to turn them down.
T. S. Eliot you
The majority of mankind is lazy-minded, incurious, absorbed in vanities, and tepid in emotion, and is therefore incapable of either much doubt or much faith; and when the ordinary man calls himself a sceptic or an unbeliever, that is ordinarily a simple pose, cloaking a disinclination to think anything out to a conclusion.
T. S. Eliot faith
Let us go then, you and I, When the evening is spread out against the sky Like a patient etherized upon a table.
T. S. Eliot you
In the room the women come and go Talking of Michelangelo.
T. S. Eliot women
There will be time, there will be time To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet; There will be time to murder and create, And time for all the works and days of hands, That lift and drop a question on your plate;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.
T. S. Eliot time
Do I dare Disturb the universe? In a minute there is time For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse. 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; I know the voices dying with a dying fall Beneath the music from a farther room.
T. S. Eliot life
So how should I presume?
T. S. Eliot
And I have known the eyes already, known them all — The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase, And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin, When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall, Then how should I begin To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
T. S. Eliot you
And how should I presume?
T. S. Eliot
And I have known the arms already, known them all — Arms that are braceleted and white and bare [But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!] It is perfume from a dress That makes me so digress? Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl. And should I then presume?
T. S. Eliot light
And how should I begin?
T. S. Eliot
I should have been a pair of ragged claws Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
T. S. Eliot law
I am no prophet — and here's no great matter; 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.
T. S. Eliot men
It is impossible to say just what I mean! But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen: Would it have been worth while If one, settling a Pillow or throwing off a shawl, And turning toward the window, should say: "That is not it at all, That is not what I meant, at all."
T. S. Eliot war
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 ridiculous — Almost, at times, the Fool.
T. S. Eliot time
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.
T. S. Eliot war
Later republished in The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism (1922)
T. S. Eliot poetry
We dwell with satisfaction upon the poet's difference from his predecessors, especially his immediate predecessors; we endeavour to find something that can be isolated in order to be enjoyed. Whereas if we approach a poet without this prejudice we shall often find that not only the best, but the most individual parts of his work may be those in which the dead poets, his ancestors, assert their immortality most vigorously. And I do not mean the impressionable period of adolescence, but the period of full maturity.
T. S. Eliot art
Yet if the only form of tradition, of handing down, consisted in following the ways of the immediate generation before us in a blind or timid adherence to its successes, "tradition" should positively be discouraged. We have seen many such simple currents soon lost in the sand; and novelty is better than repetition. Tradition is a matter of much wider significance. It cannot be inherited, and if you want it you must obtain it by great labour. It involves, in the first place, the historical sense, which we may call nearly indispensable to anyone who would continue to be a poet beyond his twenty-fifth year...
T. S. Eliot success
The historical sense involves a perception, not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence; the historical sense compels a man to write not merely with his own generation in his bones, but with a feeling that the whole of the literature of Europe fromand within it the whole of the literature of his own country has a simultaneous existence and composes a simultaneous order. This historical sense, which is a sense of the timeless as well as of the temporal and of the timeless and of the temporal together, is what makes a writer traditional. And it is at the same time what makes a writer most acutely conscious of his place in time, of his contemporaneity.
T. S. Eliot time
No poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone. His significance, his appreciation is the appreciation of his relation to the dead poets and artists. You cannot value him alone; you must set him, for contrast and comparison, among the dead. I mean this as a principle of
T. S. Eliot art
What happens when a new work of art is created, is something that happens simultaneously to all the works of art which preceded it. The existing monuments form an ideal order among themselves, which is modified by the introduction of the new (the really new) work of art among them. The existing order is complete before the new work arrives; for order to persist after the supervention of novelty, the whole existing order must be, if ever so slightly, altered; and so the relations, proportions, values of each work of art toward the whole are readjusted; and this is conformity between the old and the new.
T. S. Eliot war
Whoever has approved this idea of order, of the form of European, of English literature, will not find it preposterous that the past should be altered by the present as much as the present is directed by the past. And the poet who is aware of this will be aware of great difficulties and responsibilities.
T. S. Eliot war
Some one 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 writers
It is not the "greatness," the intensity, of the emotions, the components, but the intensity of the artistic process, the pressure, so to speak, under which the fusion takes place, that counts.
T. S. Eliot art
The bad poet is usually unconscious where he ought to be conscious, and conscious where he ought to be unconscious. Both errors tend to make him "personal." 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.
T. S. Eliot emotions
Here I am, an old man in a dry month, Being read to by a boy, waiting for rain.
T. S. Eliot man
Signs are taken for wonders. “We would see a sign!” The word within a word, unable to speak a word, Swaddled with darkness.
T. S. Eliot darkness
Weave the wind. I have no ghosts, An old man in a draughty house Under a windy knob.
T. S. Eliot man
After such knowledge, what forgiveness? Think now History has many cunning passages, contrived corridors And issues, deceives with whispering ambitions, Guides us by vanities. Think now She gives when our attention is distracted And what she gives, gives with such supple confusions That the giving famishes the craving. Gives too late What's not believed in, or if still believed, In memory only, reconsidered passion. Gives too soon Into weak hands, what's thought can be dispensed with Till the refusal propagates a fear. Think Neither fear nor courage saves us. Unnatural vices Are fathered by our heroism. Virtues Are forced upon us by our impudent crimes. These tears are shaken from the wrath-bearing tree.
T. S. Eliot knowledge
The tiger springs in the new year. Us he devours. Think at last We have not reached conclusion, when I Stiffen in a rented house. Think at last I have not made this show purposelessly And it is not by any concitation Of the backward devils. I would meet you upon this honestly. I that was near your heart was removed therefrom To lose beauty in terror, terror in inquisition. I have lost my passion: why should I need to keep it Since what is kept must be adulterated?
T. S. Eliot war
so the countess passed on until she came through the little park, where Niobe presented her with a cabinet, and so departed.
T. S. Eliot art
The broad-backed hippopotamus Rests on his belly in the mud; Although he seems so firm to us He is merely flesh and blood.
T. S. Eliot blood
Webster was much possessed by death And saw the skull beneath the skin
T. S. Eliot death
Grishkin is nice: her Russian eye is underlined for emphasis; Uncorseted, her friendly bust Gives promise of pneumatic bliss.
T. S. Eliot friend
April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain.
T. S. Eliot desire
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.
T. S. Eliot fear
I was neither Living nor dead, and I knew nothing, Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
T. S. Eliot art
Unreal city, Under the brown fog of a winter dawn, A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many, I had not thought death had undone so many.
T. S. Eliot death
O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag— It's so elegant So intelligent
T. S. Eliot
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward, Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.
T. S. Eliot war
Who is the third who walks always beside you When I count, there are only you and I together But when I look ahead up the white road There is always another one walking beside you
T. S. Eliot you
What is that sound high in the air Murmur of maternal lamentation Who are those hooded hordes swarming Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth Ringed by the flat horizon only What is the city over the mountains Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air Falling towers Jerusalem Athens Alexandria Vienna London Unreal
T. S. Eliot war
In this decayed hole among the mountains In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing Over the tumbled graves, about the chapel There is the empty chapel, only the wind's home.
T. S. Eliot light
Then spoke the thunder DA Datta: what have we given? My friend, blood shaking my heartThe awful daring of a moment's surrender Which an age of prudence can never retract By this, and this only, we have existed
T. S. Eliot art
I have heard the key Turn in the door once and turn once only We think of the key, each in his prison Thinking of the key, each confirms a prison
T. S. Eliot think
These fragments I have shored against my ruins Why then Ile fit you. Hieronymo's mad againe. Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata.Shantih shantih shantih
T. S. Eliot men
Mistah Kurtz — he dead
T. S. Eliot dead
A penny for the Old Guy
T. S. Eliot
We are the hollow men We are the stuffed men Leaning together Headpiece filled with straw.
T. S. Eliot men
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.
T. S. Eliot death
Between the idea And the reality Between the motion And the act Falls the Shadow
T. S. Eliot reality
For Thine is the Kingdom
T. S. Eliot
Between the conception And the creation Between the emotion And the response Falls the Shadow
T. S. Eliot creation
Life is very long
T. S. Eliot life
Between the desire And the spasm Between the potency And the existence Between the essence And the descent Falls the Shadow
T. S. Eliot desire
This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper.
T. S. Eliot world
Because I do not hope to turn again Because I do not hope Because I do not hope to turn Desiring this man's gift and that man's scope I no longer strive to strive towards such things (Why should the ag
T. S. Eliot hope
Because I do not hope to know The infirm glory of the positive hour Because I do not think Because I know I shall not know The one veritable transitory power Because I cannot drink There, where trees flower, and springs flow, for there is nothing again
T. S. Eliot hope
Because I know that time is always time And place is always and only place And what is actual is actual only for one time And only for one place I rejoice that things are as they are and I renounce the bless
T. S. Eliot time
Because I cannot hope to turn again Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something Upon which to rejoice
T. S. Eliot hope
Let these words answer For what is done, not to be done again May the judgement not be too heavy upon us
T. S. Eliot words
Because these wings are no longer wings to fly But merely vans to beat the air The air which is now thoroughly small and dry Smaller and dryer than the willTeach 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.
T. S. Eliot death
Prophesy to the wind, to the wind only for only The wind will listen.
T. S. Eliot will
Lady of silences Calm and distressed Torn and most whole Rose of memory Rose of forgetfulness Exhausted and life-giving Worried reposefulThe single Rose Is now the Garden Where all loves end Terminate torment Of love unsatisfied The greater torment Of love satisfied End of the endless Journey to no end Conclusion of all that Is inconclusibleSpeech without word and Word of no speech Grace to the Mother For the Garden Where all love ends.
T. S. Eliot love
This is the land which ye Shall divide by lot. And neither division nor unity Matters. This is the land. We have our inheritance.
T. S. Eliot vision
Redeem The time. Redeem The unread vision in the higher dream While jewelled unicorns draw by the gilded hearse.
T. S. Eliot time
If the lost word is lost, if the spent word is spent If the unheard, unspoken Word is unspoken, unheard; Still is the unspoken word, the Word unheard, The Word without a word, the Word within The world and for the world; And the light shone in darkness and Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled About the centre of the silent Word.   O my people, what have I done unto thee. Where shall the word be found, where will the word Resound? Not here, there is not enough silence
T. S. Eliot people
Wavering between the profit and the loss In this brief transit where the dreams cross The dreamcrossed twilight between birth and dying
T. S. Eliot dreams
And the lost heart stiffens and rejoices In the lost lilac and the lost sea voices And the weak spirit quickens to rebel For the bent golden-rod and the lost sea smell Quickens to recover The cry of quail and the whirling plover And the blind eye creates The empty forms between the ivory gates And smell renews the salt savour of the sandy earthThis is the time of tension between dying and birth The place of solitude where three dreams cross Between blue rocks But when the voices shaken from the yew-tree drift away Let the other yew be shaken and reply.
T. S. Eliot love
Blessed sister, holy mother, spirit of the fountain, spirit of the garden,Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood Teach us to care and not to care
T. S. Eliot spirit
Sister, mother And spirit of the river, spirit of the sea, Suffer me not to be separated And let my cry come unto Thee.
T. S. Eliot spirit
The Eagle soars in the summit of Heaven, The Hunter with his dogs pursues his circuit.
T. S. Eliot dogs
O perpetual revolution of configured stars, O perpetual recurrence of determined seasons, O world of spring and autumn, birth and dying!The endless cycle of idea and action, Endless invention, endless experiment, Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness; Knowledge of speech, but not of silence; Knowledge of words, and ignorance of The Word. All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance, All our ignorance brings us nearer to death, But nearness to death no nearer to God.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? The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries Brings us farther from God and nearer to the Dust.
T. S. Eliot wisdom
The lot of man is ceaseless labor, Or ceaseless idleness, which is still harder, Or irregular labour, which is not pleasant. I have trodden the winepress alone, and I know That it is hard to be really useful, resigning The things that men count for happiness, seeking The good deeds that lead to obscurity, accepting With equal face those that bring ignominy, The applause of all or the love of none. All men are ready to invest their money But most expect dividends.I say to you: Make perfect your will. I say: take no thought of the harvest, But only of proper sowing.
T. S. Eliot love
The world turns and the world changes, But one thing does not change. In all of my years, one thing does not change, However you disguise it, this thing does not change: The perpetual struggle of Good and Evil.
T. S. Eliot change
You neglect and belittle the desert. The desert is not remote in southern tropics The desert is not only around the corner,The desert is squeezed in the tube-train next to you, The desert is in the heart of your brother.
T. S. Eliot art
Let me show you the work of the humble. Listen.
T. S. Eliot work
In the vacant places We will build with new bricks
T. S. Eliot will
Where the bricks are fallen We will build with new stone Where the beams are rotten We will build with new timbers Where the word is unspokenWe will build with new speech There is work together A Church for all And a job for each Every man to his work.
T. S. Eliot work
What life have you, if you have not life together? There is not life that is not in community, And no community not lived in praise of GOD.
T. S. Eliot life
And now you live dispersed on ribbon roads, And no man knows or cares who is his neighbor Unless his neighbor makes too much disturbance, But all dash to and fro in motor cars, Familiar with the roads and settled nowhere.
T. S. Eliot man
Much to cast down, much to build, much to restore.
T. S. Eliot
I have given you the power of choice, and you only alternate Between futile speculation and unconsidered action.
T. S. Eliot power
And the wind shall say: "Here were decent godless people: Their only monument the asphalt road And a thousand lost golf balls."
T. S. Eliot god
When the Stranger says: "What is the meaning of this city ? Do you huddle close together because you love each other?" What will you answer? "We all dwell together To make money from each other"? or "This is a community"?
T. S. Eliot love
Oh my soul, be prepared for the coming of the Stranger. Be prepared for him who knows how to ask questions.
T. S. Eliot soul
There is one who remembers the way to your door: Life you may evade, but Death you shall not. You shall not deny the Stranger.
T. S. Eliot anger
They constantly try to escape From the darkness outside and within By dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good. But the man that is shall shadow The man that pretends to be.
T. S. Eliot dream
Then it seemed as if men must proceed from light to light, in the light of the Word, Through the Passion and Sacrifice saved in spite of their negative being; Bestial as always before, carnal, self seeking as always before, selfish and purblind as ever before, Yet always struggling, always reaffirming,always resuming their march on the way that was lit by the light; Often halting, loitering, straying, delaying, returning, yet following no other way.
T. S. Eliot men

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