The Hollow Men By T.S. Elliot

Mistah Kurtz – he dead.

A penny for the Old Guy 


We are the hollow men

We are the stuffed men

Leaning together

Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!

Our dried voices, when 

We whisper together

Are quiet and meaningless

As wind in dry grass

or rats’ feet over broken glass

In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour, 

Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed

With direct eyes, to death’s other kingdom 

Remember us – if at all – not as lost

Violent souls, but only

As the hollow men 

The stuffed men. 


Eyes I dare not meet in dreams

In death’s dream kingdom

These do not appear: 

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.

Let me be no nearer

In death’s dream kingdom 

Let me also wear

Such deliberate disguises

Rat’s coat, crowskin, crossed staves

In a field

Behaving as the wind behaves

No nearer – 

Not that final meeting 

In the twilight kingdom


This is the dead land

This is cactus land

Here the stone images

Are raised, here they receive

The supplication of a dead man’s hand

Under the twinkle of a fading star.

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. 


The eyes are not here

There are no eyes here

In this valley of dying stars

In this hollow valley

This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places 

We grope together

And avoid speech

Gathered on this beach of this tumid river

Sightless, unless

The eyes reappear

As the perpetual star

Multifoliate rose

Of death’s twilight kingdom

The hope only

Of empty men. 


Here we go round the prickly pear

Prickly pear prickly pear

Here we go round the prickly pear

At five o’clock in the morning. 

Between the idea

And the reality

Between the motion 

And the act

Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom 

Between the conception

And the creation 

Between the emotion 

And the response

Falls the Shadow

Life is very long

Between the desire

And the spasm 

Between the potency

And the existence

Between the essence

And the descent

Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom 

For Thine is

Life is

For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

Not with a bang but with a whimper. 


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