24+ quotes from The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot

Quotes from The Waste Land

T.S. Eliot ·  320 pages

Rating: (34.4K votes)


“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, quote from The Waste Land


“A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.”
― T.S. Eliot, quote from The Waste Land


“And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you
I will show you fear in a handful of dust”
― T.S. Eliot, quote from The Waste Land


“My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me.
'Speak to me. Why do you never speak? Speak.
'What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?
'I never know what you are thinking. Think.”
― T.S. Eliot, quote from The Waste Land


“For you know only a heap of broken images”
― T.S. Eliot, quote from The Waste Land


“You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
They called me the hyacinth girl.'
—Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
Od' und leer das Meer.”
― T.S. Eliot, quote from The Waste Land


“He who was living is now dead
We who were living are now dying
With a little patience.”
― T.S. Eliot, quote from The Waste Land


“What have we given?
My friend, blood shaking my heart
The awful daring of a moment's surrender
Which an age of prudence can never retract
By this, and this only, we have existed.”
― T.S. Eliot, quote from The Waste Land


“Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow”
― T.S. Eliot, quote from The Waste Land


“I think we are in rats’ alley
Where the dead men lost their bones.”
― T.S. Eliot, quote from The Waste Land


“The awful daring of a moment's surrender which an age of prudence
can never retract.
by this, and only this, we have existed.”
― T.S. Eliot, quote from The Waste Land


“I have heard the key
Turn in the door once and turn once only
We think of the key, each in his prison
Thinking of the key, each confirms a prison”
― T.S. Eliot, quote from The Waste Land


“Yet when we came back, from the hyacinth garden,
Yours arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing.
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
Oed und leer das Meer ('waste and empty in the sea')"
"I remember
Those are pearls that were his eyes."
"Who is the third who walks always beside you?
When I count, there are only you and I together
But when I look ahead, up the white road
There is always another one walking beside you,
Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded
I do not know whether a man or a woman
But who is that on the other side of you?”
― T.S. Eliot, quote from The Waste Land


“After the torchlight red on sweaty faces
After the frosty silence in the gardens
After the agony in stony places
The crying and the shouting
Prison and place and reverberation
Of thunder of spring over distant mountains
He was living is now dead
We who were living are now dying
With a little patience”
― T.S. Eliot, quote from The Waste Land


“Gentile or Jew
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.”
― T.S. Eliot, quote from The Waste Land


“My external sensations are no less private to myself than are my thoughts or my feelings. In either case my experience falls within my own circle, a circle closed on the outside; and, with all its elements alike, every sphere is opaque to the others which surround it. . . . In brief, regarded as an existence which appears in a soul, the whole world for each is peculiar and private to that soul.”
― T.S. Eliot, quote from The Waste Land


“I sat upon the shore
Fishing, with the arid plain behind me
Shall I at least set my lands in order?

London Bridge is falling down falling down falling down

Poi s'ascose nel foco che gli affina
Quando fiam ceu chelidon—O swallow swallow”
― T.S. Eliot, quote from The Waste Land


“Footsteps shuffled on the stair/Under the firelight, under the brush, her hair/Spread out in fiery points/Glowed into words, then would be savagely still.”
― T.S. Eliot, quote from The Waste Land


“Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song,
Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long
But at my back in a cold blast I hear
The rattle of the bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear”
― T.S. Eliot, quote from The Waste Land


“My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me. "Speak to me. Why do you never speak. Speak. "What are you thinking of? What thinking? What? "I never know what you are thinking. Think." I think we are in rats' alley Where the dead men lost their bones. "What is that noise?"                              The wind under the door. "What is that noise now? What is the wind doing?"                              Nothing again nothing.”
― T.S. Eliot, quote from The Waste Land


“Crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are departed. Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song. The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers, Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends Or other testimony of summer nights. The nymphs are departed. And their friends, the loitering heirs of city directors; 180 Departed, have left no addresses.”
― T.S. Eliot, quote from The Waste Land


“Bin gar keine Russin, stamm' aus Litauen, echt deutsch.

I am not Russian at all; I come from Lithuania, I am a real German.
(Eliot's translation)”
― T.S. Eliot, quote from The Waste Land


“Leš što si ga lane zakopao u bašti
Pušta li već izdanke? Hoće li procvetati ove godine,
Il' mu je nenadna stud leju uništila?”
― T.S. Eliot, quote from The Waste Land


“DA Datta: what have we given? My friend, blood shaking my heart The awful daring of a moment's surrender Which an age of prudence can never retract By this, and this only, we have existed Which is not to be found in our obituaries Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor In our empty rooms 410 DA Dayadhvam: I have heard the key Turn in the door once and turn once only We think of the key, each in his prison Thinking of the key, each confirms a prison Only at nightfall, aetherial rumours Revive for a moment a broken Coriolanus DA Damyata: The boat responded Gaily, to the hand expert with sail and oar 420 The sea was calm, your heart would have responded Gaily, when invited, beating obedient To controlling hands                                      I sat upon the shore Fishing, with the arid plain behind me Shall I at least set my lands in order? London Bridge is falling down falling down falling down Poi s'ascose nel foco che gli affina Quando fiam ceu chelidon - O swallow swallow Le Prince d'Aquitaine a la tour abolie 430 These fragments I have shored against my ruins Why then Ile fit you. Hieronymo's mad againe. Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata.                            Shantih shantih shantih”
― T.S. Eliot, quote from The Waste Land


About the author

T.S. Eliot
Born place: in St. Louis, Missouri, The United States
Born date September 26, 1888
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