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50 T.S. Eliot Quotes Celebrating Life, Love and Poetry

Norbert Juma
Published on January 28, 2019 9:09 AM EST
t s eliot quotes

Our latest collection of T.S. Eliot quotes on Everyday Power blog.

Thomas Stearns Eliot was a poet, dramatist, literary critic, and editor who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948 for “his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry”.

t s eliot quotes

Eliot is considered one of the greatest poets in the English language. His poems are some of the of the best-known, including “The Waste Land”, “Ash Wednesday”, and “Four Quartets”.

A highly influential poet, Eliot’s works played a key role in the literary transition from 19th-century Romantic poetry to 20th-century Modernist poetry. His works have been translated into at least twenty-two languages.

In honor of one of the most daring innovators of twentieth-century poetry, below is our collection of T.S. Eliot quotes, collected from a variety of sources over the years.

Don’t forget to also read these Dorothy Parker quotes and sayings to uncover life’s secrets.

T.S. Eliot quotes celebrating life, love and poetry

1. ”Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T.S. Eliot

2. ”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

3. ”Sometimes things become possible if we want them bad enough.” – T.S. Eliot

4. ”Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.” – T.S Eliot

5. ”You are the music while the music lasts.” – T.S. Eliot

T.S. Eliot quotes celebrating life, love and poetry

6. ”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

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7. ”Love is most nearly itself when here and now cease to matter.” – T.S. Eliot

8. ”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

9. ”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. This love is silent.” – T.S. Eliot

10. ”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.” – T.S. Eliot

T.S. Eliot quotes on life, poetry and art

11. ”Most of the evil in this world is done by people with good intentions.” – T. S. Eliot

12. ”The most important thing for poets to do is to write as little as possible.” – T. S. Eliot

13. ”In life there is no time to grieve long.” – T.S. Eliot

14. ”Every moment is a fresh beginning.” – T.S. Eliot

15. ”Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important.” – T. S. Eliot

16. ”The journey, not the destination matters.” – T. S. Eliot

T.S. Eliot quotes on life, poetry and art

17. ”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

18. ”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

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19. ”What do we live for if not to make life less difficult for each other?” – T.S Eliot

20. ”Our lives are mostly a constant evasion of ourselves.” – T.S Eliot

You might also like these thought-provoking Pablo Neruda quotes that will leave you questioning life and love.

T.S. Eliot quotes celebrating life, poetry and art

21. ”Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning, every poem an epitaph.” – T. S. Eliot

22. ”When a great poet has lived, certain things have been done once for all, and cannot be achieved again.” – T. S. Eliot

23. ”Only by acceptance of the past, can you alter it.” – T. S. Eliot

24. ”Not less of love, but expanding of love beyond desire, and so liberation From the Future as well as the past.” – T. S. Eliot

25. ”It seems just possible that a poem might happen to a very young man: but a poem is not poetry –That is a life.” – T.S. Eliot

26. ”We die to each other daily.” – T.S. Eliot

T.S. Eliot quotes celebrating life, poetry and art

27. ”When a poet’s mind is perfectly equipped for its work, it is constantly amalgamating disparate experiences.” – T.S. Eliot

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

29. ”All time is unredeemable.” – T. S. Eliot

30. “We learn what poetry is – if we ever learn – by reading it.” – T. S. Eliot

T.S. Eliot quotes on love, life, and success

31. ”Poetry is not an assertion of truth, but the making of that truth more fully real to us.” – T. S. Eliot

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32. ”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.” – T.S. Eliot

33. ”The business of the poet is not to find new emotions, but to use the ordinary ones and, in working them up into poetry, to express feelings which are not in actual emotions at all.” – T.S. Eliot

34. ”For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice.” – T.S. Eliot

35. ”The old should be explorers, be curious, risk transgression, and explore oldness itself.” – T. S. Eliot

36. ”Keep true, never be ashamed of doing right; decide on what you think is right and stick to it.” – T.S. Eliot

37. ”In the life of one man, never the same time returns.” – T. S. Eliot

T.S. Eliot quotes on love, life, and success

38. ”To become what you are not, behave as you do not.” – T. S. Eliot

39. ”Time past and time future what might have been and what has been point to one end, which is always present.” – T. S. Eliot

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

Other beautiful T.S. Eliot quotes

41. ”If you do not push the boundaries, you will never know where they are.” – T.S. Eliot

42. ”Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important.” – T.S. Eliot

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43. “It is impossible to design a system so perfect that no one needs to be good.” – T. S. Eliot

44. ”What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.”- T.S. Eliot

45. ”Those who arrive at the end of the journey are not those who began.” – T.S. Eliot

beautiful T.S. Eliot quotes

46. ”Poetry should help, not only to refine the language of the time, but to prevent it from changing too rapidly.” – T. S. Eliot

47. ”It is not enough to understand what we ought to be, unless we know what we are; and we do not understand what we are, unless we know what we ought to be.” – T. S. Eliot

48. ”I don’t believe one grows older. I think that what happens early on in life is that at a certain age one stands still and stagnates.” – T. S. Eliot

49. ”Think not forever of yourselves, O Chiefs, nor of your own generation. Think of continuing generations of our families, think of our grandchildren and of those yet unborn, whose faces are coming from beneath the ground.” – T. S. Eliot

50. ”Whatever you think, be sure it is what you think; whatever you want, be sure that is what you want; whatever you feel, be sure that is what you feel.” – T.S. Eliot

Which of these T.S. Eliot quotes was your favorite?

T.S. Eliot is considered by many to be the single most influential poetic work of the twentieth century.

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A leader of the Modernist movement in poetry, Eliot will always be remembered for his poetic genius. Hopefully, the above quotes will inspire you to pursue your dreams and become a success.

Did you enjoy these T.S. Eliot quotes? Which of the quotes resonated with you best? Tell us in the comment section below. We would love to hear all about it.

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