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If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?


T.S. Eliot

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If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?
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My life is light, waiting for the death wind, Like a feather on the back of my hand.
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Love is most nearly itself when here and now cease to matter.
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Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important.
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People to whom nothing has ever happened cannot understand the unimportance of events.
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Donne, I suppose, was such another / Who found no substitute for sense. / To seize and clutch and pe...
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Between the idea / And the reality / Between the motion / And the act / Falls the Shadow.
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And I will show you something different from either your shadow at morning striding behind you or yo...
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Ash on an old man's sleeve / Is all the ash the burnt roses leave, / Dust in the air suspended / Mar...
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We know too much, and are convinced of too little. Our literature is a substitute for religion, and ...
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It's not wise to violate the rules until you know how to observe them.
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Except for the point, the still point, There would be no dance, and there is only the dance
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The very existence of libraries affords the best evidence that we may yet have hope for the future o...
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The Chair she sat in, like a burnished throne, / Glowed on the marble.
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Where is wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
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What we know of other people's only our memory of the moments during which we knew them.
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After the erection of the Chinese Wall of Milton, blank verse has suffered not only arrest but retro...
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When death, the great reconciler, has come, it is never our tenderness that we repent of, but our se...
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Here, said she, / Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor.
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Time present and time past / are both perhaps present in time future.
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What the dead had no speech for, when living,
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A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
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All time is unreedemable.
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You say I am repeating
Something I have said before. I shall say it again.
Shall I say it...
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The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
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Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
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It is certain that a book is not harmless merely because no one is consciously offended by it.
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There will be time, there will be time

To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;...
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Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so ...
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Where shall the word be found, where will the word Resound?
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A martyrdom is always the design of God, for His love of men, to warn them and to lead them, to brin...
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For last year's words belong to last year's language
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The last temptation is the greatest treason: to do the right deed for the wrong reason.
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For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice.
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An election is coming. Universal peace is declared and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolong...
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Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
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What makes life dreary is the want of a motive.
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There is nothing that will kill a man so soon as having nobody to find fault with but himself.
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What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is w...
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We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive whe...
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These fragments I have shored against my ruins
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I should have been a pair of ragged claws / Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
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At the first turning of the second stair / I turned and saw below / The same shape twisted on the ba...
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Radio is a medium of entertainment which permits millions of people to listen to the same joke at th...
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The dove descending breaks the air / With flame of incandescent terror.
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I should have been a pair of ragged claws / Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
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Keep true, never be ashamed of doing right; decide on what you think is right and stick to it.
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The river is within us, the sea is all about us; The sea is the land's edge also
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Where does one go from a world of insanity? Somewhere on the other side of despair.
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No great deed is done by falterers who ask for certainty.
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But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will...
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The Pekes and the Pollicles, everyone knows,
Are proud and implacable, passionate foes;
I...
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Unreal City, / Under the brown fog of a winter dawn, / A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many, /...
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The communication of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.
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Not fare well, / But fare forward, voyagers.
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I am aware of the damp souls of housemaids/Sprouting despondently at area gates.
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I'm proof against that word failure. I've seen behind it. The only failure a man ought to fear is fa...
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The highest form of treason: to do the right thing for the wrong reason. Murder in the Cathedral
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We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with s...
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Light
Light
The visible reminder of Invisible Light.
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An election is coming. Universal peace is declared and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolongi...
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You are the music while the music lasts.
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Truth has rough flavours if we bite it through.
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Human kind cannot bear much reality.
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If you desire to drain to the dregs the fullest cup of scorn and hatred that a fellow human being ca...
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I said to my soul be still, and wait without hope; for hope would be hope of the wrong thing; wait w...
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Only by acceptance of the past, can you alter it.
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This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
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In the seventeenth century a dissociation of sensibility set in.
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You do not know how much they mean to me, my friends, and how, how rare and strange it is, to find i...
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There are three conditions which often look alike
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I am glad you have a Cat, but I do not believe it is So remarkable a cat as My Cat.
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For I have known them all already, know them all -- have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, I...
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James's critical genius comes out most tellingly in his mastery over, his baffling escape from, Idea...
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Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred ...
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I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
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Distracted from distraction by distraction
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...the mind is conscious, but conscious of nothing - I said to my soul, be still, and wait without h...
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The most important thing for poets to do is to write as little as possible.
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Anxiety is the hand maiden of creativity
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No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
...
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Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.
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The purpose of literature is to turn blood into ink.
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Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisi...
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One of the low on whom assurance sits / As a silk hat on a Bradford millionaire.
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After the erection of the Chinese Wall of Milton, blank verse has suffered not only arrest but retro...
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One of the low on whom assurance sits / As a silk hat on a Bradford millionaire.
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Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mea...
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If you haven’t the strength to impose your own terms upon life, then you must accept the terms it ...
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There is shadow under this red rock // (Come in under the shadow of this red rock) // And I will sho...
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The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may...
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Each venture is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate with shabby equipment always deteriorati...
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To country people Cows are mild,
And flee from any stick they throw;
But I’m a timid tow...
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Television is a medium of entertainment which permits millions of people to listen to the same joke ...
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We have only to conquer
Now, by suffering. This is the easier victory.
Now is the triumph...
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There is one order of beauty which seems made to turn heads. It is a beauty like that of kittens, or...
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Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.
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It is generally a feminine eye that first detects the moral deficiencies hidden under the 'dear dece...
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There's no vocabulary For love within a family, love that's lived in But not looked at, love within ...
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The wounded surgeon plies the steel / That questions the distempered part.
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The years between fifty and seventy are the hardest. You are always being asked to do things, and ye...
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At the first turning of the second stair / I turned and saw below / The same shape twisted on the ba...
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You do not know how much they mean to me, my friends, and how, how rare and strange it is, to find i...
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For I have known them all already, known them all -
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoo...
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April is the cruelest month, breeding
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Memory and desi...
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The bad poet is usually unconscious where he ought to be conscious, and conscious where he ought to ...
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To hear the latest Pole / transmit the Preludes, through his hair and fingertips.
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To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is eno...
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This love is silent.
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If you haven't the strength to impose your own terms upon life, you must accept the terms it offers ...
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In the vain laughter of folly, wisdom hears half its applause.
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No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence.
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When lovely woman stoops to folly and / Paces about her room again, alone, / She smoothes her hair w...
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I like not only to be loved, but to be told I am loved.
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My name is only an anagram of toilets.
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If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter
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When we read of human beings behaving in certain ways, with the approval of the author, who gives hi...
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For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice....
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Playwriting gets into your blood and you can't stop it. At least not until the producers or the publ...
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that which is only living
Can only die
T.S. ELIOT
The dove descending breaks the air
With flame of incandescent terror
Of which the tongues ...
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And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker, / And in short, I was afraid.
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We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown T.S. ELIOT
When we talk about Poetry, with a capital P, we are apt to think only of the more intense emotions o...
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What is hell? Hell is oneself.
Hell is alone, the other figures in it
Merely projections...
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To approach the stranger is to invite the unexpected, release a new force, let the genie out of the ...
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I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.
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Most of the evil in this world is done by people with good intentions.
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I grow old . . . I grow old . . . / I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
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Keep true, never be ashamed of doing right; decide on what you think is right and stick to it.
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Moving between the legs of tables and of chairs, rising or falling, grasping at kisses and toys, adv...
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Will the veiled sister pray for
Those who walk in darkness, who chose thee and oppose thee, T.S. ELIOT
Pray for us now and at the hour of our birth.
T.S. ELIOT
It is impossible to design a system so perfect that no one needs to be good.
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There is one order of beauty which seems made to turn heads. It is a beauty like that of kittens, or...
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I grow old . . . I grow old . . . / I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
T.S. ELIOT
Where is wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
T.S. ELIOT
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet.
T.S. ELIOT
What was to be the value of the long looked forward to,
Long hoped for calm, the autumnal seren...
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Or music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
While the musi...
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Do not let me hear
Of the wisdom of old men, but rather of their folly,
Their fear of fear...
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Love is most nearly itself
When here and now cease to matter.
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Footfalls echo in the memory, down the passage we did not take, towards the door we never opened, in...
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I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.
T.S. ELIOT
We might remind ourselves that criticism is as inevitable as breathing, and that we should be none t...
T.S. ELIOT
Pray for us now and at the hour of our birth.
T.S. ELIOT
It is impossible to design a system so perfect that no one needs to be good.
T.S. ELIOT
When death, the great reconciler, has come, it is never our tenderness that we repent of, but our se...
T.S. ELIOT
The dove descending breaks the air / With flame of incandescent terror.
T.S. ELIOT
Radio is a medium of entertainment which permits millions of people to listen to the same joke at th...
T.S. ELIOT
Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of pe...
T.S. ELIOT
Moving between the legs of tables and of chairs, rising or falling, grasping at kisses and toys, adv...
T.S. ELIOT
The Nobel is a ticket to one's own funeral. No one has ever done anything after he got it.
T.S. ELIOT
My own experience and development deepen everyday my conviction that our moral progress may be measu...
T.S. ELIOT
A difference of taste in jokes is a great strain on the affections.
T.S. ELIOT
Excellence encourages one about life generally; it shows the spiritual wealth of the world.
T.S. ELIOT
It's strange that words are so inadequate. Yet, like the asthmatic struggling for breath, so the lov...
T.S. ELIOT
What do we live for; if it is not to make life less difficult to each other?
T.S. ELIOT
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be; / Am an attendant lord.
T.S. ELIOT
That corpse you planted last year in your garden, / Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
T.S. ELIOT
Whatever you do, don't whimper, but take the consequences.
T.S. ELIOT
So far as we are human, what we do must be either evil or good: so far as we do evil or good, we are...
T.S. ELIOT
He's outwardly respectable. (They say he cheats at cards.)
And his footprints are not found in ...
T.S. ELIOT
Oxford is very pretty, but I don't like to be dead.
T.S. ELIOT
We are being made aware that the organization of society on the principle of private profit, as well...
T.S. ELIOT
Those who glitter with the glory of the hummingbird meaning death
T.S. ELIOT
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And a hundred visions and revisions
T.S. ELIOT
Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of pe...
T.S. ELIOT
Do I dare Disturb the universe?
T.S. ELIOT
The awful daring of a moment's surrender which an age of prudence
can never retract.
by t...
T.S. ELIOT
Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air wh...
T.S. ELIOT
Pray for those who chose and oppose
T.S. ELIOT
I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Sha...
T.S. ELIOT
We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we star...
T.S. ELIOT
Our high respect for a well read person is praise enough for literature.
T.S. ELIOT
What we know of other people's only our memory of the moments during which we knew them.
T.S. ELIOT
Where does one go from a world of insanity? Somewhere on the other side of despair.
T.S. ELIOT
I cannot say that I am descended from the bastards of Oliver Cromwell, or his courtiers, or from the...
T.S. ELIOT
The river is within us, the sea is all about us; The sea is the land's edge also
T.S. ELIOT
There's no vocabulary For love within a family, love that's lived in But not looked at, love within ...
T.S. ELIOT
The majority of poems one outgrows and outlives, as one outgrows and outlives the majority of human ...
T.S. ELIOT
Webster was much possessed by death / And saw the skull beneath the skin.
T.S. ELIOT
When a Cat adopts you there is nothing to be done about it except put up with it until the wind chan...
T.S. ELIOT
All cases are unique and very similar to others.
T.S. ELIOT
Clear the air! clean the sky! wash the wind! take stone from stone and wash them.
T.S. ELIOT
Any poet, if he is to survive beyond his 25th year, must alter; he must seek new literary influences...
T.S. ELIOT