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T. S. Eliot Quotes


An American-born English poet, dramatist and literary critic.
(1888 - 1965)

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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.
 

A toothache, or a violent passion, is not necessarily diminished by our knowledge of its causes, its character, its importance or insignificance.
 

All cases are unique and very similar to others.
[Originality]
 

All our ignorance brings us closer to death.
 

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.
 

An editor should tell the author his writing is better than it is. Not a lot better, a little better.
[Writers And Writing]
 

An election is coming. Universal peace is declared and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry.
[Politics]
 

And they write innumerable books; being too vain and distracted for silence: seeking every one after his own elevation, and dodging his emptiness.
[Being]
 

Anxiety is the handmaiden of creativity.
[Anxiety]
 

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.
[Alter]
 

April is the cruelest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with Spring rain.
 

Art never improves, but... the material of art is never quite the same.
[Art]
 

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.
 

Birth, copulation and death. That's all the facts when you come to brass tacks.
[Life]
 

Business today consists in persuading crowds.
 

Destiny waits in the hand of God, not in the hands of statesmen.
 

Disillusion can become itself an illusion If we rest in it.
 

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.
 

Every moment is a fresh beginning.
 

Genuine blasphemy, genuine in spirit and not purely verbal, is the product of partial belief, and is as impossible to the complete atheist as to the perfect Christian.
 


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