Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965) is considered one of the 20th century’s major poets. Also a playwright, essayist and literary critic, the Missouri-born poet became famous by works, such as The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Ash Wednesday and Murder in the Cathedral. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948, as well as an Order of Merit.


1.”I will show you fear in a handful of dust.”

2.”The Church must be forever building, for it is forever decaying within and attacked from without.”

3.”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.”

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

5.”In my beginning is my end.”

6.”Human kind cannot bear very much reality.”

7.”In life there is not time to grieve long.”

8.”All our knowledge brings us nearer o our ignorance.”

9.”I grow old … I grow old …I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.”

10.”No verse is free for the man who wants to do a good job.”

11.”Men have left GOD not for other gods, they say, but for no God; and this has never happened before.”

12.”The lot of man is ceaseless labor, Or ceaseless idleness, which is still harder.”


13.”War is not a life: it is a situation,One which may neither be ignored nor accepted.”

14.”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.”

15.”The years between fifty and seventy are the hardest. You are always being asked to do more, and you are not yet decrepit enough to turn them down.”

16.”Only by acceptance of the past will you alter its meaning.”

17.”This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper.”

18.”It will do you no harm to find yourself ridiculous. Resign yourself to be the fool you are.”

19.”The circle of our understanding is a very restricted area.”

20.”Every moment is a fresh beginning.”

21.”Only the fool, fixed in his folly, may think he can turn the wheel on which he turns.”

22.”In a play, from the beginning, you have to realize that you’re preparing something which is going into the hands of other people, unknown at the time you’re writing it.”

23.”Two people who know they do not understand each other, breeding children whom they do not understand and who will never understand them.”