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pearls

when the swine overwhelm, retreat into the wisdom of these words

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

An election is coming. Universal peace is declared and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry.

Anxiety is the hand maiden of creativity.

Any poet, if he is to survive beyond his 25th year, must alter; he must seek new literary influences; he will have different emotions to express.

April is the cruellest month.

As things are, and as fundamentally they must always be, poetry is not a career, but a mug's game. No honest poet can ever feel quite sure of the permanent value of what he has written: He may have wasted his time and messed up his life for nothing.

At twenty you have many desires which hide the truth, but beyond forty there are only real and fragile truths -your abilities and your failings.

Business today consists in persuading crowds.

Footfalls echo in the memory, down the passage which we did not take, towards the door we never opened Into the rose-garden.

For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.

Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.

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.

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.

I am an Anglo-Catholic in religion, a classicist in literature and a royalist in politics.

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.

I had seen birth and death but had thought they were different.

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.

If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?

If you desire to drain to the dregs the fullest cup of scorn and hatred that a fellow human being can pour out for you, let a young mother hear you call dear baby "it."

Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.

In my beginning is my end.

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.

It's strange that words are so inadequate. Yet, like the asthmatic struggling for breath, so the lover must struggle for words.

Let's not be narrow, nasty, and negative.

My greatest trouble is getting the curtain up and down.

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

Our difficulties of the moment must always be dealt with somehow, but our permanent difficulties are difficulties of every moment.

Our high respect for a well read person is praise enough for literature.

People to whom nothing has ever happened cannot understand the unimportance of events.

Playwriting gets into your blood and you can't stop it. At least not until the producers or the public tell you to.

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. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.

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; for our lives are mostly a constant evasion of ourselves.

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

Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.

Television is a medium of entertainment which permits millions of people to listen to the same joke at the same time, and yet remain lonesome.

The communication of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.

The last temptation is the greatest treason: to do the right deed for the wrong reason.

The last thing one discovers in composing a work is what to put first.

The most important thing for poets to do is to write as little as possible.

The Nobel is a ticket to one's own funeral. No one has ever done anything after he got it.

There is no method but to be very intelligent.

There is not a more repulsive spectacle than on old man who will not forsake the world, which has already forsaken him.

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

This love is silent.

Twentieth-century art may start with nothing, but it flourishes by virtue of its belief in itself, in the possibility of control over what seems essentially uncontrollable, in the coherence of the inchoate, and in its ability to create its own values.

We know too much, and are convinced of too little. Our literature is a substitute for religion, and so is our religion.

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.

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.

Where is all the knowledge we lost with information?

Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

You are the music while the music lasts.

~T. S. Eliot

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