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The Book of Famous Quotes: The Complete Collection

 :: 1888-1965, American-born British Poet, Critic

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April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain.
~ T. S. Eliot - [Spring]

 

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Success is relative. It is what we can make of the mess we have made of things.
~ T. S. Eliot - [Success]

 

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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.
~ T. S. Eliot - [Television]

 

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A tradition without intelligence is not worth having.
~ T. S. Eliot - [Tradition]

 

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It cannot be inherited, and if you want it you must obtain it by great labor.
~ T. S. Eliot - [Tradition]

 

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War is not a life: it is a situation, one which may neither be ignored nor accepted.
~ T. S. Eliot - [War]

 

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Only by acceptance of the past, can you alter it.
~ T. S. Eliot - [Past]

 

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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 - [Peace]

 

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What we know of other people's only our memory of the moments during which we knew them.
~ T. S. Eliot - [People, Other]

 

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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.
~ T. S. Eliot - [Plays]

 

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Each venture is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate with shabby equipment always deteriorating in the general mess of imprecision of feeling.
~ T. S. Eliot - [Poetry and Poets]

 

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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.
~ T. S. Eliot - [Poetry and Poets]

 

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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 - [Poetry and Poets]

 

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We must believe that ''emotion recollected in tranquillity'' is an inexact formula. For it is neither emotion, nor recollection, nor without distortion of meaning, tranquillity. It is a concentration, and a new thing resulting from the concentration of a very great number of experiences which to the practical and active person would not seem to be experiences at all; it is a concentration which does not happen consciously or of deliberation. These experiences are not ''recollected'' and they finally unite in an atmosphere which is ''tranquil'' only in that it is a passive attending upon the event.
~ T. S. Eliot - [Poetry and Poets]

 

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When a poet's mind is perfectly equipped for its work, it is constantly amalgamating disparate experiences.
~ T. S. Eliot - [Poetry and Poets]

 

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If you haven't the strength to impose your own terms upon life, you must accept the terms it offers you.
~ T. S. Eliot - [Power]

 

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Time past and time future what might have been and what has been point to one end, which is always present.
~ T. S. Eliot - [Present]

 

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Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important.
~ T. S. Eliot - [Pride]

 

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Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
~ T. S. Eliot - [Reality]

 

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It's not wise to violate rules until you know how to observe them.
~ T. S. Eliot - [Rebellion]

 

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