"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."
"All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling."T. S. Eliot on Oscar Wilde
"A poet can survive everything but a misprint."T. S. Eliot on Oscar Wilde
"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."T. S. Eliot on T. S. Eliot
"Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words."T. S. Eliot on Robert Frost
"A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness."T. S. Eliot on Robert Frost
"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."
"Art never improves, but... the material of art is never quite the same."
"All significant truths are private truths. As they become public they cease to become truths they become facts, or at best, part of the public character or at worst, catchwords."
"Business today consists in persuading crowds."
"The business of the poet is not to find new emotions, but to use the ordinary ones and, in working them up into poetry, to express feelings which are not in actual emotions at all."