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poetry quotes (89)

If you read quickly to get through a poem to what it means, you have missed the body of the poem.
M. H. Abrams   Category: Poetry

A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.
W. H. Auden   Category: Poetry

No poem is easily grasped; so why should any reader expect fast results?
John Barton   Category: Poetry

Sometimes poetry is inspired by the conversation entered into by reading other poems.
John Barton   Category: Poetry

Always be a poet, even in prose.
Charles Baudelaire   Category: Poetry

Any healthy man can go without food for two days - but not without poetry.
Charles Baudelaire   Category: Poetry

The novel is born of disillusionment; the poem, of despair.
Jose Bergamin   Category: Poetry

God is the perfect poet.
Robert Browning   Category: Poetry

There is poetry as soon as we realize that we possess nothing.
John Cage   Category: Poetry

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

The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.
Gilbert K. Chesterton   Category: Poetry

You don't have to suffer to be a poet; adolescence is enough suffering for anyone.
John Ciardi   Category: Poetry

A true poet does not bother to be poetical. Nor does a nursery gardener scent his roses.
Jean Cocteau   Category: Poetry

Children and lunatics cut the Gordian knot which the poet spends his life patiently trying to untie.
Jean Cocteau   Category: Poetry

The poet doesn't invent. He listens.
Jean Cocteau   Category: Poetry

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

Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.
Leonard Cohen   Category: Poetry

Poetry: the best words in the best order.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge   Category: Poetry

I like poems that are little games.
Peter Davison   Category: Poetry

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

I still read Donne, particularly his love poems.
Carol Ann Duffy   Category: Poetry

A poem can have an impact, but you can't expect an audience to understand all the nuances.
Douglas Dunn   Category: Poetry

Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.
T. S. Eliot   Category: Poetry

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   Category: Poetry

Poetry is ordinary language raised to the Nth power. Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words.
Paul Engle   Category: Poetry

Everything one invents is true, you may be perfectly sure of that. Poetry is as precise as geometry.
Gustave Flaubert   Category: Poetry

A poem is true if it hangs together. Information points to something else. A poem points to nothing but itself.
E. M. Forster   Category: Poetry

We all write poems; it is simply that poets are the ones who write in words.
John Fowles   Category: Poetry

Every single soul is a poem.
Michael Franti   Category: Poetry

A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.
Robert Frost   Category: Poetry

Poetry is what gets lost in translation.
Robert Frost   Category: Poetry

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

Poetry is plucking at the heartstrings, and making music with them.
Dennis Gabor   Category: Poetry

Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary.
Khalil Gibran   Category: Poetry

"Therefore" is a word the poet must not know.
Andre Gide   Category: Poetry

There's no money in poetry, but then there's no poetry in money, either.
Robert Graves   Category: Poetry

Poetry is thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.
Thomas Gray   Category: Poetry

Everyone thinks they're going to write one book of poems or one novel.
Marilyn Hacker   Category: Poetry

If Galileo had said in verse that the world moved, the inquisition might have let him alone.
Thomas Hardy   Category: Poetry

A poem conveys not a message so much as the provenance of a message, an advent of sense.
Thomas Harrison   Category: Poetry

Poetry is all that is worth remembering in life.
William Hazlitt   Category: Poetry

No poems can please for long or live that are written by water drinkers.
Horace   Category: Poetry

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   Category: Poetry

You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some of it with you.
Joseph Joubert   Category: Poetry

Poetry should... should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance.
John Keats   Category: Poetry

Poets are soldiers that liberate words from the steadfast possession of definition.
Eli Khamarov   Category: Poetry

There'll always be working people in my poems because I grew up with them, and I am a poet of memory.
Philip Levine   Category: Poetry

You don't make a poem with ideas, but with words.
Stephane Mallarme   Category: Poetry

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

Poetry is the art of creating imaginary gardens with real toads.
Marianne Moore   Category: Poetry

One will never again look at a birch tree, after the Robert Frost poem, in exactly the same way.
Paul Muldoon   Category: Poetry

Each memorable verse of a true poet has two or three times the written content.
Alfred de Musset   Category: Poetry

I sometimes talk about the making of a poem within the poem.
Howard Nemerov   Category: Poetry

Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason.
Novalis   Category: Poetry

You don't help people in your poems. I've been trying to help people all my life - that's my trouble.
Charles Olson   Category: Poetry

To read a poem is to hear it with our eyes; to hear it is to see it with our ears.
Octavio Paz   Category: Poetry

Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.
Plato   Category: Poetry

Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.
Plutarch   Category: Poetry

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

Poetry is the revelation of a feeling that the poet believes to be interior and personal which the reader recognizes as his own.
Salvatore Quasimodo   Category: Poetry

The moment of change is the only poem.
Adrienne Rich   Category: Poetry

The poem is the point at which our strength gave out.
Richard Rosen   Category: Poetry

Breathe-in experience, breathe-out poetry.
Muriel Rukeyser   Category: Poetry

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   Category: Poetry

To see clearly is poetry, prophecy and religion all in one.
John Ruskin   Category: Poetry

He who draws noble delights from sentiments of poetry is a true poet, though he has never written a line in all his life.
George Sand   Category: Poetry

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

Poetry is the opening and closing of a door, leaving those who look through to guess about what is seen during the moment.
Carl Sandburg   Category: Poetry

Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits.
Carl Sandburg   Category: Poetry

However, if a poem can be reduced to a prose sentence, there can't be much to it.
James Schuyler   Category: Poetry