American Literature · British Culture · Classic · Excerpt · Fragment · Imagism · Modernism · Poetry

T. S. Eliot

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.

—  T. S. Eliot, from “East Coker,” Four Quartets.

The Four Quartets is a set of four poems written by T. S. Eliot that were published individually over a six-year period. The poems were not collected until Eliot’s New York publisher (Harcourt )  printed them together in 1943.

They were published as a series in Great Britain in 1941 to 1942 towards the end of Eliot’s poetic career.

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