The 40 Best T.S. Eliot Quotes
author

T.S. Eliot Quotes

40 of the best book quotes from T.S. Eliot
01
Share
“The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter, It isn’t just one of your holiday games; You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.”
T.S. Eliot
author
Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats
book
names
cats
concepts
02
Share
“Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity, There never was a Cat of such deceitfulness and suavity. He always has an alibi, and one or two to spare: At whatever time the deed took place—Macavity wasn’t there!”
Macavity
character
03
Share
“Disposed to relaxation, and awaiting no surprise, but the moonlight shone reflected from a hundred bright blue eyes.”
04
Share
“Before a Cat will condescend To treat you as a trusted friend, Some little token of esteem Is needed, like a dish of cream.”
05
Share
“She is deeply concerned with the ways of the mice- Their behavior’s not good and their manners not nice; So when she has got them lined up on the matting, She teaches them music, crocheting and tatting.”
06
Share
“Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer had a wonderful way of working together. And some of the time you would say it was luck, and some of the time you would say it was weather. They would go through the house like a hurricane, and no sober person could take his oath Was it Mungojerrie – or Rumpelteazer? Or could you have sworn that it mightn’t be both?”
07
Share
“For he isn’t the Cat that he was in his prime; Though his name was quite famous, he says, in his time. And whenever he joins his friends at their club (which takes place at the back of the neighboring pub) He loves to regale them, if someone else pays, With anecdotes drawn from his palmiest days. For he once was a Star of the highest degree — He has acted with Irving, he’s acted with Tree.”
08
Share
“He is quiet and small, he is black From his ears to the tip of his tail; He can creep through the tiniest crack He can walk on the narrowest rail. He can pick any card from a pack, He is equally cunning with dice; He is always deceiving you into believing That he’s only hunting for mice. He can play any trick with a cork Or a spoon and a bit of fish-paste; If you look for a knife or a fork And you think it is merely misplaced - You have seen it one moment, and then it is gawn! But you’ll find it next week lying out on the lawn. And we all say: OH! Well I never! Was there ever A Cat so clever As Magical Mr. Mistoffelees!”
09
Share
“Again I must remind you that A Dog’s a Dog- A CAT’S A CAT.”
10
Share
“Jellicle Cats come out to-night Jellicle Cats come one come all: The Jellicle Moon is shining bright- Jellicles come to the Jellicle Ball.”
11
Share
“When you notice a cat in profound meditation, The reason ,I tell you, is always the same: His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name: his ineffable effable Effanineffable Deep and inscrutable singular Name.”
12
Share
“Old Deuteronomy’s lived a long time; He’s a Cat who has lived many lives in succession. He was famous in proverb and famous in rhyme A long while before Queen Victoria’s accession. Old Deuteronomy’s buried nine wives And more – I am tempted to say, ninety-nine; And his numerous progeny prospers and thrives And the village is proud of him in his decline.”
13
Share
“Bustopher Jones is not skin and bones — In fact, he’s remarkably fat. He doesn’t haunt pubs — he has eight or nine clubs, For he’s the St. James’s Street Cat!”
14
Share
“With Cats, some say, one rule is true: Don’t speak till you are spoken to. Myself, I do not hold with that — I say, you should ad-dress a Cat. But always keep in mind that he Resents familiarity. I bow, and taking off my hat, Ad-dress him in this form: O Cat! But if he is the Cat next door, Whom I have often met before (He comes to see me in my flat) I greet him with an oopsa Cat! I think I’ve heard them call him James — But we’ve not got so far as names.”
15
Share
“For he will do As he do do And there’s no doing anything about it!”
16
Share
“Jellicle Cats are white and black, Jellicle Cats are of moderate size; Jellicles jump like a jumping-jack, Jellicle Cats have moonlit eyes. They’re quiet enough in the morning hours, They’re quiet enough in the afternoon, Reserving their terpsichorean powers To dance by the light of the Jellicle Moon.”
17
Share
“So for Old Gumbie Cats let us now give three cheers— On whom well-ordered households depend, it appears.”
18
Share
“You can play no pranks with Skimbleshanks! He’s a Cat that cannot be ignored; So nothing goes wrong on the Northern Mail When Skimbleshanks is aboard.”
19
Share
“The Pekes and the Pollicles, everyone knows, Are proud and implacable passionate foes; It is always the same, wherever one goes. And the Pugs and the Poms, although most people say That they do not like fighting, yet once in a way, They will now and again join in to the fray And they Bark bark bark bark Bark bark BARK BARK Until you can hear them all over the Park.”
20
Share
“Why who should stalk out but the GREAT RUMPUSCAT. His eyes were like fireballs fearfully blazing, He gave a great yawn, and his jaws were amazing;”
21
Share
“He, the young man carbuncular arrives, A small house agent’s clerk, with one bold stare, One of the low on whom assurance sits As a silk hat on a Bradford millionaire.”
22
Share
“What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man, You cannot say, or guess, for you know only A heap of broken images...”
23
Share
“Where fishmen lounge at noon: where the walls Of Magnus Martyr hold Inexplicable splendour of Ionian white and gold.”
24
Share
″(And I Tiresias have foresuffered all Enacted on this same divan or bed; I who have sat by Thebes below the wall And walked among the lowest of the dead.)”
25
Share
“I will show you fear in a handful of dust.”
26
Share
“April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain.”
27
Share
“The Chair she sat in, like a burnished throne.”
28
Share
“Mr. Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant Unshaven, with a pocket full of currants.”
29
Share
“So rudely forced; yet there the nightingale Filled all the desert with inviolable voice And still she cried, and still the world pursues, “Jug Jug” to dirty ears.”
30
Share
“Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled, And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.”
31
Share
“By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept…”
32
Share
“—Yet when we came back, late, 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.”
33
Share
“Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks, The lady of situations.”
34
Share
″ Burning burning burning burning O Lord Thou pluckest me out O Lord Thou pluckest burning.”
35
Share
“Do You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember Nothing?”″
36
Share
“You ought to be ashamed, I said, to look so antique. (And her only thirty-one) I can’t help it, she said, pulling a long face, It’s them pills I took, to bring it off, she said.”
37
Share
“Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata. Shantih shantih shantih.”
38
Share
“I Tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs Perceived the scene, and foretold the rest— I too awaited the expected guest.”
39
Share
“In the mountains, there you feel free. I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.”
40
Share
“O you who turn the wheel and look to windward, Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.”

Recommended quote pages

View All Quotes