Talk:T. S. Eliot

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This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the T. S. Eliot page.


Why some verses are emphasized? —This unsigned comment is by Leandro (talkcontribs) .


The amount of quotes from individual works is excessive, especially bearing in mind that some of these works are relatively short to begin with being poems. Tyrenius 03:00, 22 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't find it excessive. There are large sections of poetry, but these are mostly from plays and books which are far more extensive than the quotations which have been used. Most of the poems or plays are themselves rather long, and other than Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats Eliot really isn't known for writing short simple poems. ~ Kalki 04:20, 22 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Hollow Men has approximately 98 lines. This article quotes 70 lines, i.e. over 70% of the original. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock has approximately 130 lines. This article quotes 82 lines, i.e. 63%. These are blatant copyright infringements. Tyrenius 05:28, 22 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agreed with Tyrenius. The current amount of quotes from, e.g. The Waste Land seems to me fine (within the limit of Fair Use). Quoting 70 lines from 98 seems problematic, specially unless we give an explicit reason why we need to quote those lines. --Aphaia 06:56, 22 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I just cut the selections from "The Hollow Men" down to 33 original lines, not counting the two non-copyrighted lines that Eliot himself is quoting. I can agree that selections from that had grown a bit large, and that it is still under copyright. "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is more extensively quoted than we could prudently quote a more modern poem, but it was first published in 1915 and thus there is no copyright infringement, because it is no longer under copyright protection, at least within the U.S. It has been widely published and available as public domain material in its entirety for many years in many places, including Project Gutenberg and Wikisource. The same is true for "The Waste Land", published in 1922. ~ Kalki 07:40, 22 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I did go ahead and cut out a few lines from "Prufrock" as well, as some of the preliminary lines are not quite so striking and famous as most of those that now remain. ~ Kalki 07:47, 22 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Check out claim number two hereallixpeeke (talk) 05:42, 11 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Lead image[edit]

Ideally the lead image would be one of Eliot, but none are currently available at the Wikimedia Commons. When the one I had used, taken by E.O. Hoppé in 1919, was removed from the commons on 1 May 2007, I replaced it with one I found somewhat evocative, though not entirely satisfactory: Image:OCULUS IN THE PANTHEON.JPG. Today replaced that image with one that is perhaps slightly better Image:M51 whirlpool galaxy black hole.jpg. Others that I considered using were Image:Redsquare tuthill big.jpg and Image:Summit of glastonbury tor.jpg (because of its location in Somerset, where Eliot's family had lived, and where he had his ashes placed) but these didn't seem as good a fit. Of course none of them are as good as an image of Eliot would be, and hopefully a good one of Eliot will eventually become available to us. ~ Kalki 21:53, 19 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Eliot vs Auden[edit]

According to Wikiquote, W.H. Auden was an "English-born American poet". According to this article, Eliot was an "Anglo-American poet". Moving in opposite directions, they became citizens of the US and UK respectively (Auden spent his last years in England and Austria). Shouldn't at least one of them be listed as English, rather than American? Much as I, personally, think that the work of both of them is much more English than American and much as I prefer Auden, in the official sense shouldn't that "one" be Eliot? JO24-- 17:19, 8 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


What on earth is with these pictures all over the page? 21:51, 19 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

They are excessive, create large white spaces in the text (certainly on a low resolution screen) and serve only to undermine the original text by turning it into some kind of kitsch presentation. They shoud go. Tyrenius 09:09, 20 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also, a British Blue is NOT a Jellicle cat! 04:12, 10 April 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable and precise source for any quote on this list please move it to T. S. Eliot. --Antiquary 22:19, 30 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Literature: the least dangerous element of discourse. Man: the most powerful weapon against discourse.
  • When war is not just it is subsequently justified; so it becomes many things. In reality, an unjust war is merely piracy. It consists of piracy, ego and, more than anything, money. War is our century's prostitution.
  • Words are perhaps the hardest medium of all material of art. One must simultaneously express visual beauty, beauty of sound, and communicate a grammatical statement.


  • To purify the 'dialect of the tribe' and to open the doors of perception by discovering a host of new poetic themes and rhythms was the especial achievement of T. S. Eliot. He gave us back our language enlivened and refreshed by new contacts with many other tongues.
    • Marshall McLuhan.

Why nothing from Four Quartets?[edit]

this selection of quotations is wilful and arbitrary; the frankly indefensible block quoting from the creaky stage plays seems indulgent-and how is it possible to omit Four Quartets altogether? - —This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .

This work has its own page (as referenced at the top of the page). See The Four Quartets. And if you do not like the selection of quotes, fee free to add more, provided they are properly sourced. ~ UDScott 19:09, 28 June 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, I saw the single quotation from Four Quartets at the top of the page. Incidentally, Please remember that most people consider 'quote' to be a verb, not a noun. Eliot would certainly have been horrified! - —This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .

I have no idea what you mean - The Four Quartets has its own page, with many quotes from the work on it. And the word quote can either be a noun or a verb. ~ UDScott 20:09, 28 June 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I hate to have to point this out, but as my heading suggested, the text we are talking about is called 'Four Quartets', not 'The Four Quartets' (sic). Also, I think very few people would defend using 'quote' as a noun; no one I know anyway. I have a vague idea you might be American...(?) - —This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .

Ah, yes you are correct that the title should just be 'Four Quartets' (I will fix this in a moment). As to the ongoing 'quote' discussion, it is common to shorten the noun 'quotation' to 'quote' and in this form, it is obviously used as a noun. It can certainly also be used as a verb (to quote someone or a work). Yes, I am American. But that does not necessarily mean that I am ignorant on grammar :-). And finally, please sign your comments. Thanks! ~ UDScott 20:38, 28 June 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The title remains 'The Four Quartets', so I will fix it in a moment, To User, I will try to remedy the grievous omission re Four Quartets here. I agree with you! (Also, I am an American too, just as UDScott said he or she is. Americans are very heterogenous o) --FeralOink (talk) 02:24, 9 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The word quote was originally a noun denoting a mark placed in the margin of a text to highlight a passage. (This was before the innovation of transparent ink for that purpose.) Use as a verb meaning to repeat the passage outside the original text and as a noun denoting the passage thus repeated both came later, and are now both common usages. Language is a living thing, and will outlive any grammarian who tries to kill it. ~ Ningauble 16:34, 29 June 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Both User and Ningauble are correct. Let us ignore etymology, as we are in the here and now. Regarding this,
"Language is a living thing, and will outlive any grammarian who tries to kill it."
No "grammarians" will do harm let alone kill, nor will they be killed! Here we go!
  1. verb I will quote you when I announce the policy change to our an club
  2. noun I will insert a quotation in that section.
  3. noun Text that is copied verbatim must be enclosed in quotation marks.
  4. verb, active He was very irate. He even said, and I quote, "blahblahblah".
  5. verb, imperative "Quote your bill!" That usage is appropriate when instructing how to behave when buying an item and paying in cash, i.e. physical currency or specie (as the disparagers of central banking and fiat money are so fond of saying), with a large denomination bank note.
If it were my decision, this website would be named Wikiquotation instead of Wikiquote. Be all that as it may, I want a quotation from Four Quartets too! Little Gidding will be a good start. I will try to rectify the omission when I remember. --FeralOink (talk) 02:14, 9 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Mmm, well please see what wictionary (and many other sources say on the subject) ' This use as a noun is well-understood and widely used, although it is often rejected in formal and academic contexts.' Of course, I know that certain elements in society use the verb as a noun - it doesn't make it correct! I believe Wikiquote is meant to be a formal or academic arena? Oh dear! (T.F) - —This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .
Quoting a point of Eliot:
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
I present a present of the present moment, and point out that I am willing to hammer home the point with a figurative hammer and nail, and nail down the fact that attempts to place artificial restrictions upon the use of language — including the confining of verbs or nouns within the confines of one usage or the other are usually futile… and whatever status one might possess or acquire by creating or upholding such distinctions usually decays and is marred by the growth of a common sense of propriety that evolves with changing status quo of what is held to be common sense. You can quote that as a quotation, or engage in a quotation and make it a quote — or object to doing either — and the show goes on, showing that exceptions to nearly all artificial rules ultimately rule quite naturally.
Time past and time future
Allow but a little consciousness.
And, quoting another wit-widening wit: so it goes… ~ Kalki (talk · contributions) 22:44, 30 June 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, that was a very boring response, Kalki; worse than not being in control of your grammar in my opinion! (TF)
—This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .
OF COURSE IT WAS BORING — IT WAS MEANT TO BE BORING. I always can take at least mild delight in being able to bore bores who seek to be in command and control of others, if the borings help at least a few perceive a bit more elements of vital truth — that they should be free of the rules of such bores. It was meant to bore a few holes of wide-bore revelation about the whole of Reality to people who are most insistent that Reality and thoughts upon it should fit neatly and nicely into such convenient little pigeon holes as their minuscule minds can comprehend and feel comfortable with. Minds that delight in rules and pretending they or others can or should rule over others with such rules as seem to promise them status and power and specious forms of superiority — rather than appreciating the fact that nature and necessity EVER rule — quite well, in many ways beyond their capacities to help or hinder.
We are not in this world to satisfy each other, or even pleasingly stimulate each other — though the worthiest in many ways seek to do what they can to help others find satisfaction and healthy stimulation, and the wisest know that they can and should and must make efforts to free themselves from many false and artificial confinements of mind and life — so that they can better help others become more free and fair than they have been, and to enjoy ALL things more freely and fairly without concerns or complaints that not all things proceed according to some people's pissant pedantic expectations.
To further evoke Eliot in invoking the still point against pointlessness, a few more lines from Four Quartets:
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.
Words, after speech, reach
Into the silence.
Words strain,
Crack and sometimes break, under the burden,
Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,
Will not stay still.
A few people have sometimes demanded that I must explain myself in such terms as will satisfy them and their peculiarly asinine presumptions — which is something I KNOW to be an impossibility — or that plainly wished for me to be silent entirely — or be silenced entirely — I am quite CONFIDENT that this too is an impossibility, and what meager means I have to help others and to indicate truth will eventually be sufficient to astound many out of deep pits of senselessness about many things.
I know that I have VERY odd forms of intelligence and humor which I do not expect or demand others appreciate, but I believe that in the times to come it will become increasingly common sense among many that there is MUCH that all people can and do contact or connect to and discern in common — and much that they simply cannot no matter how hard they try to — and people need to discern both facts far more clearly. Though much can often be evoked or invoked by words, words or insistence of faith in words alone can never satisfy or fulfill the yearnings of the mind for clear resolution of such truths as it is worthy to affirm — rather than such dross and dreck as occupies and obsesses the minds of many, and result in life-negating assumptions rather than life affirming observations and assertions.
MANY of us, of course, NEED to use words to HELP clarify many things — but it is NEVER words alone, nor even primarily, which do the clarifying. I remain obscure and boring, and I hope to remain so in many ways, as I have never had quite the appetite for dreck many people seem to, and always seem a bit odd by my refusal to eat it, while others go about happily insisting it is good healthy food for everyone — whether they have such appetites as they have for it or not — and that it should be force-fed to them by rules which tout the superiority of their dreck to any other. I don't seek to make people accept or consume anything they do not wish to, and accept rules ONLY when they seem truly necessary — NOT when they merely serve to create ARTIFICIAL distinctions and delusions in the minds of people. ~ Kalki (talk · contributions) 15:21, 2 July 2011 (UTC) + tweak ~ Kalki (talk · contributions) 15:29, 2 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Oh, dear, one-nil; back of the net! I actually laughed out loud when I saw your desperate fulminations! Unfortunately, I do not have the time nor inclination to read your many paragraphs but it is obvious I must have hit a nerve! Ragging the mediocre and insecure is surprisingly amusing! (TF)

Of course you hit a nerve — but that nerve has far more profound roots, branchings and firm foundations in reason and rhyme than any shallow troll can readily perceive — and I too laugh — for reasons FAR beyond your petty comprehensions of many things. ~ Kalki (talk · contributions) 21:58, 2 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How delightful, I offer you thanks for making me guffaw once again. However, I feel I must remind you of Wikiquote guidelines-please do not engage in personal attacks, Kalki. Apart from anything else, your increasingly vindictive retorts amount to an error of taste; you have also tacitly released far too much information about your mindset and shortcomings than is seemly. I must now withdraw from this low level intellectual skirmish for the sake of propriety.

Of COURSE it was a "low level intellectual skirmish" — I never had any delusions that it was actually anything different than that — unlike some who believe they are acting entirely "for the sake of propriety." I too have little interest in continuing it — but I do hope that some glimpses of where truth and where true propriety actually dwell have begun to be more clearly revealed. I generally have little interest in making others embarassed or ashamed or fearful of expressing their honest opinions — but when I encounter people who seem addicted to doing precisely that — I can give them a taste of their own "medicine" which makes them lose their appetite for it rather quickly — and my versatility at eluding the grasp of either their very limited logical processes or very pronounced illogical impulses has often astounded them. ~ Kalki (talk · contributions) 11:07, 3 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
One thing I must concede made me guffaw in our exchanges — thinkng me "desperate" and your comment "Ragging the mediocre and insecure is surprisingly amusing" — had me laughing out loud — and now to see it accompanied by the follow up plea to "please do not engage in personal attacks" — this too makes me laugh out loud. You have provided a mild and amusing diversion as I usually am focused on confronting far more dangerous and unamusing forms of hypocrisy than yours — but So it goes... ~ Kalki (talk · contributions) 11:14, 3 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This kalki person seems to have mental health issues from what I can see! Lol.: —This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .
Indeed, I would say I am involved with many such things, in more ways than some people with rather dull perceptions might immediately realize. Time will yet reveal much, I believe. — So it goes… Answer to Life.png Caput mortuum.svg File:Don't panic.svgSwirlyclock.pngSahasrara.svg ~ Kalki·· 18:18, 18 February 2012 (UTC) + tweaksReply[reply]