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14 T.S. Eliot Quotes About All Facets Of Life

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Dee Das

Staff Writer

Trying to live, love, and say it well in good sentences. Pronouns: she/her. Contact:

The poet T.S. Eliot needs little introduction. He conquered multiple genres in the field of literature and left a legacy of important life advice for all of us so that we don’t get reduced to ‘hollow men’. We are more connected technologically but deep down we’re all feeling lonely at the same time. What a paradox! Here is a list of T.S. Eliot quotes that provides a sense of solidarity about modern times of despair.

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language

And next year’s words await another voice.”

Four Quartets


“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

—Preface to Transit of Venus by Harry Crosby


“In order to arrive at what you do not know
You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
In order to possess what you do not possess
You must go by the way of dispossession.
In order to arrive at what you are not
You must go through the way in which you are not.
And what you do not know is the only thing you know
And what you own is what you do not own
And where you are is where you are not.”

Four Quartets


“To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one man’s life.”

The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism


“He who was living is now dead
We who were living are now dying
With a little patience.”

The Waste Land


“As the soul leaves the body torn and bruised
As the mind deserts the body it has used.
I should find
Some way incomparably light and deft,
Some way we both should understand,
Simple and faithless as a smile and shake of the hand.”
Prufrock and Other Observations

“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.”

The Cocktail Party


“There are three conditions which often look alike
Yet differ completely, flourish in the same hedgerow:
Attachment to self and to things and to persons, detachment
From self and from things and from persons; and, growing between them, indifference.”

Four Quartets


“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,”

The Waste Land


“What day is the day that we know that we hope for or fear for? Every day is the day we should fear from or hope from. One moment Weighs like another. Only in retrospection, selection, We say, that was the day. The critical moment That is always now, and here.”

Murder in the Cathedral


“I must tell you that I should really like to think there’s something wrong with me—Because, if there isn’t, then there’s something wrong with the world itself—and that’s much more frightening! That would be terrible. So I’d rather believe there is something wrong with me, that could be put right.”

The Cocktail Party


“I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing.”

The Waste Land


“Are contented with the morning that separates
And with the evening that brings together
For casual talk before the fire
Two people who know they do not understand each
Breeding children whom they do not understand
And who will never understand them.”

The Cocktail Party


“You are invulnerable, you have no Achilles’ heel.
You will go on, and when you have prevailed
You can say: at this point many a one has failed.
But what have I, but what have I, my friend,
To give you, what can you receive from me?
Only the friendship and the sympathy
Of one about to reach her journey’s end.”

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and Other Poems