T. S. (Thomas Stearns) Eliot Quotes

Great simplicity is only won by an intense moment or by years of intelligent efforts or both. It represents one of the most arduous conquests of the human spirit – the triumph of feeling and thought over the natural sins of language.

Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better.

The majority of poems one outgrows and outlives, as one outgrows and outlives the majority of human passions. Dante’s is one of those that one can only just hope to grow up to at the end of life.

Those who demand of poetry a day-dream, or a metamorphosis of their own feeble desires and lusts, or what they believe to be ‘intensity’ of passion, will not find much in Johnson. He is like Pope and Dryden, Crabbe and Landor, a poet for those who want poetry and not something else, some stay for […]

Poetry should help, not only to refine the language of the time, but to prevent it from changing too rapidly.

In the case of many poets, the most important thing for them to do… is to write as little as possible.

Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.

All great poetry gives the illusion of a view of life.

I take as metaphysical poetry that in which what is ordinarily apprehensible only by thought is brought within the grasp of feeling, or that in which what is ordinarily only felt is transformed into thought without ceasing to be feeling.

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.