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The Hollow Men

The Hollow Men

by T.S. Eliot

Exile Quotes Page 1

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
Remember us—if at all—not as lost (lines 13-15)

This is a strange poem to be dealing with exile, a concept that is usually political and not spiritual in nature. But the Hollow Men are exiled from "death's other Kingdom."

Quote #2

There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind's singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star. (lines 22-28)

Where is "there"? Our guess would be Heaven or "death's other Kingdom," but the image of a "broken column" is not a happy one. At any rate, the Hollow Men do not have a good idea of what Heaven is like because they are so far away from it.

Quote #3

Is it like this
In death's other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone. (lines 45-51)

Though they are deathly afraid (pun!) of Heaven and those eyes in particular, they also have a naïve curiosity about "what's it like there?" Once again, they have no idea how to imagine this other kingdom, except through reference to their own sad existence.