55 Awe Inspiring T.S. Eliot Quotes

TS Eliot Quotes

Thomas Stearns Eliot (T.S. Eliot) was a famous beloved poet, playwright, editor, and publisher. In fact, he’s revered as one of the most prominent pioneers of 20th-century poetry.

In the early 1900’s Eliot gained notoriety and recognition for his poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”. And received a Nobel Prize in Literature for his many great contributions in 1948.

As a tribute to T.S. Eliot and his beautiful poetic artistry, we present you with 55 of the all-time best T.S. Eliot quotes.

T.S. Eliot Quotes

1. “Tradition: how the vitality of the past enriches the life of the present” — T. S. Eliot

2. “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

3. “This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper.” — T. S. Eliot

4. “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go!” — T. S. Eliot

5. “Everyone gets the experience. Some get the lesson.” — T. S. Eliot

6. “For last year’s words belong to last year’s language And next year’s words await another voice.” — T. S. Eliot

7. “To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one man’s life.” — T. S. Eliot

8. “You can evade life, but you cannot evade death.” — T. S. Eliot

9. “Do I dare Disturb the universe? In a minute there is time For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.” — T. S. Eliot

10. “Whatever you think, be sure it is what you think; whatever you want, be sure that is what you feel.” — T. S. Eliot

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

12. “April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain.” — T. S. Eliot

13. “Humans cannot bear much reality.” — T. S. Eliot

14. “For last year’s words belong to last year’s language And next year’s words await another voice.” — T. S. Eliot — Book: Four Quartets

15. “Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.” — T. S. Eliot

16. “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.” — T. S. Eliot

17. “When forced to work within a strict framework, the imagination is taxed to its utmost and will produce its richest ideas. Given total freedom, the work is likely to sprawl.” — T. S. Eliot

18. “Turn things you’ve always wanted to do, into things you’ve done” — T. S. Eliot

19. “Your burden is not to clear your conscience But to learn how to bear the burdens on your conscience.” — T. S. Eliot

20. “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.” — T. S. Eliot

21. “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.” — T. S. Eliot

22. “I will show you fear in a handful of dust.” — T. S. Eliot

23. “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 that must sometimes be broken. We must also remember that at every meeting we are meeting a stranger.” — T. S. Eliot

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

25. “Finding a way to live the simple life is one of life’s supreme complications.” — T. S. Eliot

26. “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.” — T. S. Eliot

27. “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.” — T. S. Eliot

28. “To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one man’s life.” — T. S. Eliot — Book: The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism

29. “If you haven’t the strength to impose your own terms upon life, then you must accept the terms it offers you.” — T. S. Eliot

30. “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

31.“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 — Book: Four Quartets

32. “In order to arrive at what you are not, you must go through the way in which you are not.” — T. S. Eliot

Related: Best Quotes from Atlas Shrugged

33. “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.” — T. S. Eliot

34. “I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be the love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.” — T. S. Eliot

35. “The circle of our understanding is a very restricted area.” — T. S. Eliot

36. “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.” — T. S. Eliot — Book: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and Others

37. “Men tighten the knot of confusion Into perfect misunderstanding.” — T. S. Eliot

38. “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.” — T. S. Eliot

39. “Distracted from distraction by distraction” — T. S. Eliot

40. “Humankind cannot bear very much reality.” — T. S. Eliot — Book: Four Quartets

41. “At the beach – time you enjoyed wasting, is not wasted.” — T. S. Eliot

42. “We had the experience but missed the meaning. And approach to the meaning restores the experience in a different form.” — T. S. Eliot

43. “Unreal friendship may turn real. But real friendship, once ended, cannot be mended” — T. S. Eliot — Book: Murder in the Cathedral

44. “The last temptation is the greatest treason: to do the right deed for the wrong reason.” — T. S. Eliot

45. “For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.” — T. S. Eliot

46. “Between the idea, and the reality between the motion and the act falls the shadow” — T. S. Eliot — Book: The Hollow Men

47. “Only by acceptance of the past, can you alter it” — T. S. Eliot

48. “If we really want to pray we must first learn to listen, for in the silence of the heart God speaks.” — T. S. Eliot

49. “I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each. I do not think that they will sing to me.” — T. S. Eliot — Book: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

50. “Men dislike being awakened from their death in life.” — T. S. Eliot

51. “Success is relative. It is what we make of the mess we have made of things.” — T. S. Eliot

52. “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.” — T. S. Eliot — Book: The Sacred Wood

Related: Best Quotes from Fahrenheit 451

53. “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!” — T. S. Eliot — Book: The Cocktail Party

54. “Love compels cruelty To those who do not understand love.” — T. S. Eliot

55. “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 — Book: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and Other Poems

Video: The Waste Land (TS Eliot) read by Alec Guinness

Ah, this is amazing. Alec Guiness, a vey renowned actor known for his roles including his portrayal of Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars trilogy – a role for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Summary

We hope you enjoyed our above collection of T. S. Eliot quotes. Refer over them when you’re in need of some inspiration and self-motivation.

My personal fav is #4 : “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go!”.

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