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Poetry quotes

Thus, Whitman set out to express in his poetry the soul of his Culture awakening into self-consciousness on its own soil. Not only is the Faustian soul self-conscious; it is eternally restless, constantly striving upward, and possesses a sense of spiritual infinity. All these characteristics are given expression in Whitman’s poetry. Walt Whitman Review

I would as soon write free verse as play tennis with the net down. Robert Frost, 1935

And let me be rather but honest with no-wit,
Than a noisy nonsensical half-witted poet.
The Poet’s Prayer,” c.1734

Poetry was music. Poetry was not the thing said, but continual evocation of delicious suggestions of meaning. Poetry was an unconscious crystallization of glittering images upon the bare twig of metre. Poetry, at the nadir of this search for its essence, became the formless babble and vomit of the poet’s subconscious mind. Alec Derwent Hope

Sometimes I’m not quite sure what it means, but the words are so beautiful I know it must be profound. Terri Guillemets

I love writing poetry because poetry can be anything you want it to be — just like daydreaming. There are no rules except those in your heart and your own pen. Terri Guillemets

Even when poetry has a meaning, as it usually has, it may be inadvisable to draw it out…. Perfect understanding will sometimes almost extinguish pleasure. A.E. Housman

Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas. Albert Einstein

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words. Robert Frost

The dance can reveal everything mysterious that is hidden in music, and it has the additional merit of being human and palpable. Dancing is poetry with arms and legs. Charles Baudelaire

Poetry comes from the highest happiness or the deepest sorrow. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood. T.S. Eliot, Dante, 1920

If a poet writes in gibberish, his soul yet understands. Terri Guillemets

I’ve written some poetry I don’t understand myself. Carl Sandburg

Poets utter great and wise things which they do not themselves understand. Plato

The poetry of the earth is never dead. John Keats

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Personality is everything in art and poetry. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance. Carl Sandburg

All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry. Edgar Allan Poe

If you cannot be a poet, be the poem. David Carradine

When I began to listen to poetry, it’s when I began to listen to the stones, and I began to listen to what the clouds had to say, and I began to listen to others. And I think, most importantly for all of us, then you begin to learn to listen to the soul, the soul of yourself in here, which is also the soul of everyone else. Joy Harjo

If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for the Creator, there is no poverty. Rainer Maria Rilke

When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. John F. Kennedy

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Poetry quotes 1

The poet, as everyone knows, must strike his individual note sometime between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five. He may hold it a long time, or a short time, but it is then that he must strike it or never. School and college have been conducted with the almost express purpose of keeping him busy with something else till the danger of his ever creating anything is past. Robert Frost

[P]oetry is the natural language of excited feeling. Frederick W. Robertson, lecture delivered before the Members of the Mechanics’ Institution, February 1852

Poets don’t draw. They unravel their handwriting and then tie it up again, but differently. Jean Cocteau, Dessins, 1924

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The ugly is in poetry only a passing shadow. Alexandre Vinet (1797–1847)

Poetry is more than verse-making, more than the jingle of words, more than the sing-song of meter…. Without poetry, life is a tread-mill; a veil of tears; a dreary waste. Author unknown

Poetry quotes 2

Why should poetry have to make sense? Charlie Chaplin

I would define, in brief, the poetry of words as the rhythmical creation of Beauty. Edgar Allan Poe

Poetry is an art, the easiest to dabble in, but the hardest to reach true excellence. J. G. Stedman

On the subject of literary genres, I’ve always felt that my response to poetry is inadequate. I’d love to be the kind of person that drifts off into the garden with a slim volume of Elizabethan verse or a sheaf of haikus, but my passion is story. J. K. Rowling

The world is full of poetry. The air is living with its spirit; and the waves dance to the music of its melodies, and sparkle in its brightness. James Gates Percival

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Poetry quotes 3

Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful. Rita Dove

Leaves are words on tree branch sentences, each breeze punctuates as it pleases. Terri Guillemets

The poet… may be used as a barometer, but let us not forget that he is also part of the weather. Lionel Trilling

If you’ve got a poem within you today, I can guarantee you a tomorrow. Terri Guillemets

A poet’s work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep. Salman Rushdie

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Poetry quotes 4

Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends. Virginia Woolf

What is a poet? An unhappy person who conceals profound anguish in his heart but whose lips are so formed that as sighs and cries pass over them they sound like beautiful music. Soren Kierkegaard

Love is the poetry of the senses. Honore de Balzac

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

In a meadow full of flowers, you cannot walk through and breathe those smells and see all those colors and remain angry. We have to support the beauty, the poetry, of life. Jonas Mekas

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A sold poem loses half its meaning. Terri Guillemets

My chief aim is to make a poem. You make it for yourself firstly, and then if other people want to join in then there we are. R.S. Thomas (1913–2000)

Can [poets] do anything but gradually ascend towards the source, towards the primitive ideas that bind together man—the family and society—with a different cement to that of science and of law? Long will it be ere poetry can solder together the fragments of its falling sceptre; but these fragments are beautiful, and in the present day he who succeeds in picking up one of them will be a king among us. Alexandre Vinet (1797–1847)

Like butterflies in Spring
Poetry awakens the Spirit,
stirs the imagination and explores
the possibilities with each stroke of its rhythmic wings.
Jamie Lynn Morris

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A poet builds his nest in the springtime tree of wild reverie, and ends up staying the year. Terri Guillemets

Poetry quotes 6

The gross heathenism of civilization has generally destroyed nature, and poetry, and all that is spiritual. John Muir

So, poetry becomes a means for useful dialogue between people who are not only unknown, but mute to each other. It produces a dialogue among people that guards all of us against manipulation by our so-called leaders. June Jordan

It could be that all awful dictators are frustrated artists – Mao with his poetry and Mussolini with his monuments. Stalin was once a journalistic hack, and I can personally testify to how frustrated they are. Pol Pot left a very edgy photo collection behind. And Osama seems quite interested in video. P. J. O’Rourke

Poetry is the one place where people can speak their original human mind. It is the outlet for people to say in public what is known in private. Allen Ginsberg

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When I was writing pretty poor poetry, this girl with midnight black hair told me to go on. Carl Sandburg

Poetry quotes 7

Poetry is nobody’s business except the poet’s, and everybody else can off. Philip Larkin

A poet is too impatient for prose. He needs an expressway to his emotions. Terri Guillemets

A poet dares be just so clear and no clearer…. He unzips the veil from beauty, but does not remove it. A poet utterly clear is a trifle glaring. E.B. White

My poem may be a weed, but it has sprung, unforced, out of existing things. It may not suit the circulating libraries for adult babies; but it is the earnest product of experience, a retrospect of the past, and an evidence of the present—a sign of the times—a symptom, terrible, or otherwise, which our state doctors will do well to observe with the profoundest shake of the head… Ebenezer Elliott (1781–1849)

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Poetry treks through our souls and tells us in rhyme of the adventure. Terri Guillemets

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Any healthy man can go without food for two days – but not without poetry. Charles Baudelaire

Poetry is an orphan of silence. The words never quite equal the experience behind them. Charles Simic

The genesis of a poem for me is usually a cluster of words. The only good metaphor I can think of is a scientific one: dipping a thread into a supersaturated solution to induce crystal formation. I don’t think I solve problems in my poetry; I think I uncover the problems. Margaret Atwood

I grew up in this town, my poetry was born between the hill and the river, it took its voice from the rain, and like the timber, it steeped itself in the forests. Pablo Neruda

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As human beings, we are the only organisms that create for the sheer stupid pleasure of doing so. Whether it’s laying out a garden, composing a new tune on the piano, writing a bit of poetry, manipulating a digital photo, redecorating a room, or inventing a new chili recipe – we are happiest when we are creating. Gary Hamel

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The poetry of a given age teaches us less what it has, than what it wants and what it loves. It is a living medal, where the concavities in the die are transformed into convexities on the bronze or gold. Alexandre Vinet (1797–1847)

I’m quite hungry. Feed me poems, please. Dr. SunWolf

…the swirling autumn leaves of a poet’s dying words… Terri Guillemets

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[P]oets are masters of us ordinary men, in knowledge of the mind, because they drink at streams which we have not yet made accessible to science. Sigmund Freud

Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words. Edgar Allan Poe

Poetry quotes 10

When truth has no burning, then it is philosophy, when it gets burning from the heart, it becomes poetry. Muhammad Iqbal

A poem is never finished, only abandoned. Paul Valery

Teach your children poetry; it opens the mind, lends grace to wisdom and makes the heroic virtues hereditary. Walter Scott

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Breathe-in experience, breathe-out poetry. Muriel Rukeyser

I love Sufism as I love beautiful poetry, but it is not the answer. Sufism is like a mirage in the desert. It says to you, come and sit, relax and enjoy yourself for a while. Naguib Mahfouz

Poetry quotes 11

“That’s the way of poets,” said Warrington. “They fall in love, jilt, or are jilted; they suffer, and they cry out that they suffer more than any other mortals: and when they have experienced feelings enough, they note them down in a book, and take the book to market. All poets are humbugs, all literary men are humbugs; directly a man begins to sell his feelings for money he’s a humbug. If a poet gets a pain in his side from too good a dinner, he bellows Ai, Ai, louder than Prometheus.” William Makepeace Thackeray, The History of Pendennis, 1850

Poetry should never hurt. It may stab you with poetic pangs of melancholy but shouldn’t ever hurt as life does. Terri Guillemets

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If you know what you are going to write when you’re writing a poem, it’s going to be average. Derek Walcott

The poet sees and selects from on high and afar, and hardly inquires about what is near at hand. Alexandre Vinet (1797–1847)

Come voyeur my poems
Feel free, I feel free.
Terri Guillemets

Poetry quotes

Does not poetry itself lose somewhat in detaching itself so entirely from the reality whence it proceeds, and fixing itself thus solitary in aërial heights? Alexandre Vinet (1797–1847)

It has been truly said that though the printer’s ink should dry up, ten thousand melodious tongues would preserve the songs of [Robert] Burns to remote generations. William Cunningham

To be a poet is a condition rather than a profession. He requires whatever it needs to be completely his own master. Robert Graves

It sometimes seems to me (it is an error, I confess, but one into which I am for ever falling) that poetry is no longer anything more than an imitation of poetry… Alexandre Vinet (1797–1847)

Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits. Carl Sandburg

Poetry is the art of uniting pleasure with truth by calling imagination to the help of reason. Samuel Johnson

How happy it made her! And what beautiful things these poets always thought of and said! S.J. Adair Fitz-Gerald (1859–1925)

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Poetry cries melodic tears of verse. Terri Guillemets

Our poetry in the eighteenth century was prose; our prose in the seventeenth, poetry. Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth. Jean Cocteau

Poetry, that pearl of intelligence and life, reflects on our brow some pale rays of the glory that has faded away from it. Alexandre Vinet (1797–1847)

Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose-petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo. Don Marquis

There can be poetry in the writings of a few men; but it ought to be in the hearts and lives of all. John Sterline

The flower is the poetry of reproduction. It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life. Jean Giraudoux

Poetry surrounds us everywhere, but putting it on paper is, alas, not so easy as looking at it. Vincent Van Gogh

In poetry, you must love the words, the ideas and the images and rhythms with all your capacity to love anything at all. Wallace Stevens

I think it comes from really liking literary forms. Poetry is very beautiful, but the space on the page can be as affecting as where the text is. Like when Miles Davis doesn’t play, it has a poignancy to it. Jim Jarmusch