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Four Quartets Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot
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“For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
“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.”
T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets
“Humankind cannot bear very much reality.”
T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets
“Footfalls echo in the memory, down the passage we did not take, towards the door we never opened, into the rose garden.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
“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.
Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
“Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future
And time future contained in time past.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
“Love is most nearly itself
When here and now cease to matter.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
“The dove descending breaks the air
With flame of incandescent terror
Of which the tongues declare
The one discharge from sin and error.
The only hope, or else despair
Lies in the choice of pyre or pyre-
To be redeemed from fire by fire.

Who then devised the torment? Love.
Love is the unfamiliar Name
Behind the hands that wove
The intolerable shirt of flame
Which human power cannot remove.
We only live, only suspire
Consumed by either fire or fire.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
“In my end is my beginning.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
tags: life
“So here I am, in the middle way, having had twenty years-
Twenty years largely wasted, the years of l'entre deux guerres-
Trying to use words, and every attempt
Is a wholy new start, and a different kind of failure
Because one has only learnt to get the better of words
For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which
One is no longer disposed to say it. And so each venture
Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate,
With shabby equipment always deteriorating
In the general mess of imprecision of feeling,
Undisciplined squads of emotion. And what there is to conquer
By strength and submission, has already been discovered
Once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope
To emulate - but there is no competition -
There is only the fight to recover what has been lost
And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions
That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss.
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
“Footfalls echo in the memory
down the passage we did not take
towards the door we never opened
into the rose garden. My words echo
thus, in your mind”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
“Do not let me hear
Of the wisdom of old men, but rather of their folly,
Their fear of fear and frenzy, their fear of possession,
Of belonging to another, or to others, or to God.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
“time past and time future
what might have been and what has been
point to one end, which is always present.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
“I am glad you have a Cat, but I do not believe it is So remarkable a cat as My Cat.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
“Only through time time is conquered”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
“The historical sense involves a perception, not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
“The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.

The houses are all gone under the sea.

The dancers are all gone under the hill.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
“There are three conditions which often look alike
Yet differ completely, flourish in the same hedgerow:
Attachment to self and to things and to persons, detachment
From self and from things and from persons; and, growing between them, indifference, ... .”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
“Quick now, here, now, always-
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
“You say I am repeating
Something I have said before. I shall say it again.
Shall I say it agian? In order to arrive there,
To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,
You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.
In order to arrive at what you do not know
You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
In order to possess what you do not possess
You must go by the way of dispossession.
In order to arrive at what you are not
You must go through the way in which you are not.
And what you do not know is the only thing you know
And what you own is what you do not own
And where you are is where you are not.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
“Or music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
While the music lasts.”
T S Eliot, Four Quartets
“A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
“All time is unreedemable.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
“Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden.
Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future
And time future contained in time past. (I)
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know. (I)
Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Go, said the bird, for the leaves were full of children,
Hidden excitedly, containing laughter.
Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present. (I)
At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is...
At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement.
And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where
And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time. (II)
All is always now.
Time past and time future
Allow but a little consciousness.
To be conscious is not to be in time
But only in time can the moment in the rose-garden,
The moment in the arbour where the rain beat,
The moment in the draughty church at smokefall
Be remembered; involved with past and future.
Only through time time is conquered. (II)
Words move, music moves
Only in time; but that which is only living
Can only die. Words, after speech, reach
Into the silence. (V)
Or say that the end precedes the beginning,
And the end and the beginning were always there
Before the beginning and after the end.
And all is always now. Words strain,
Crack and sometimes break, under the burden,
Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,
Will not stay still. (V)
Desire itself is movement
Not in itself desirable;
Love is itself unmoving,
Only the cause and end of movement,
Timeless, and undesiring
Except in the aspect of time
Caught in the form of limitation
Between un-being and being. (V)”
T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets
“What the dead had no speech for, when living,
They can tell you, being dead: the communication
Of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
“I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
Whisper of running streams, and winter lightning.
The wild thyme unseen and the wild strawberry,
The laughter in the garden, echoed ecstasy
Not lost, but requiring, pointing to the agony
Of death and birth.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
“I do not know much about gods;but I think that the river is a strong brown god-sullen, untamed and intractable . . .”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
“Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning, every poem an epitaph.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
“At the still point, there the dance is.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
“What was to be the value of the long looked forward to,
Long hoped for calm, the autumnal serenity
And the wisdom of age? Had they deceived us
Or deceived themselves, the quiet-voiced elders,
Bequeathing us merely a receipt for deceit?
The serenity only a deliberate hebetude,
The wisdom only the knowledge of dead secrets
Useless in the darkness into which they peered
Or from which they turned their eyes. There is, it seems to us,
At best, only a limited value
In the knowledge derived from experience.
The knowledge imposes a pattern, and falsifies,
For the pattern is new in every moment
And every moment is a new and shocking
Valuation of all we have been. We are only undeceived
Of that which, deceiving, could no longer harm.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

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