HumanitiesWeb.org - The Ironic Wit of T.S.Eliot [Quotations]
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T S Eliot
Quotations



"An editor should tell the author his writing is better than it is. Not a lot better, a little better."

"I was too slow a mover. It was much easier to be a poet."
- on giving up boxing in college
 
"An editor should tell the author his writing is better than it is. Not a lot better, a little better."
 
"Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers."
 
"This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper."
 
"Half of the harm that is done in this world Is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm But the harm does not interest them."
 
"Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."
 
"My name is only an anagram of toilets."
 
"Poetry should help, not only to refine the language of the time, but to prevent it from changing too rapidly."
 
"It's strange that words are so inadequate. Yet, like the asthmatic struggling for breath, so the lover must struggle for words."
 
"It is a medium of entertainment which permits millions of people to listen to the same joke at the same time, and yet remain lonesome."
- on the radio
 
"Those who talk of the Bible as a 'monument of English prose' are merely admiring it as a monument over the grave of Christianity."
- Religion and Literature
 
"Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood."
 
"The most important thing for poets to do is to write as little as possible."
 
"Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal."
 
"The progress of an artist is a continual self-sacrifice, a continual extinction of personality."
 
"There is no method but to be very intelligent."
 
"The bad poet is usually unconscious where he ought to be conscious, and conscious where he ought to be unconscious."
 
"The only way of expressing emotion in the form of art is by finding an "objective correlative"; in other words, a set of objects, a situation, a chain of events which shall be the formula for that particular emotion; such that when the external facts, which must terminate in sensory experience, are given, the emotion is immediately evoked."
 
"Honest criticism and sensible appreciation are directed not upon the poet but upon the poetry."
 
"No one can go very far in the discerning enjoyment of poetry who is incapable of enjoying any poetry other than that of his own time and place. It is in fact a part of the function of education to help us to escape not from our own time, for we are bound by that but from the intellectual and emotional limitations of our own time."
 
"Half of the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm. But the harm does not interest them. "
 
"Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?"
 
"Dante and Shakespeare divide the modern world between them, there is no third."
 
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