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Sixty-Two Beautiful Quotes About Poetry

Poetry as an art form predates literacy, and it is often closely related to musical and storytelling traditions.

Each culture has its own form of poetry.Poetry includes the following characteristics: Music, Vision, Imagery, Emotion. From Mahabharata to the poems of W.B Yeats and T.S Eliot, all the poems rouse our emotion, and flows in our ears like music.

Throughout the ages, many scholars, poets and critics have tried to define poetry but no one could really succeed in coming up with a satisfactory definition of what poetry is. Below is list of sixty-two quotes about poetry, the role of a poet in our society and why poetry is important to our tradition and culture.

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

Lionel Trilling

Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.

Leonard Cohen

Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary.

Khalil Gibran

If you read quickly to get through a poem to what it means, you have missed the body of the poem.

M. H. Abrams

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

John Keats

The novel is born of disillusionment; the poem, of despair.

Jose Bergamin

The poet doesn’t invent. He listens.

Jean Cocteau

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth.

Jean Cocteau

No poem is easily grasped; so why should any reader expect fast results?

John Barton

Sometimes poetry is inspired by the conversation entered into by reading other poems.

John Barton

There is poetry as soon as we realize that we possess nothing.

John Cage

A true poet does not bother to be poetical. Nor does a nursery gardener scent his roses.

Jean Cocteau

Children and lunatics cut the Gordian knot which the poet spends his life patiently trying to untie.

Jean Cocteau

However, if a poem can be reduced to a prose sentence, there can’t be much to it.

James Schuyler

No poems can please for long or live that are written by water drinkers.

Horace

I sometimes talk about the making of a poem within the poem.

Howard Nemerov

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

Gustave Flaubert

The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.

Gilbert K. Chesterton

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

Poets are soldiers that liberate words from the steadfast possession of definition.

Eli Khamarov

A poem is true if it hangs together. Information points to something else. A poem points to nothing but itself.

E. M. Forster

Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.

Edgar Allan Poe

A poem can have an impact, but you can’t expect an audience to understand all the nuances.

 

Poetry is plucking at the heartstrings, and making music with them.

Dennis Gabor

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

Don Marquis

If you cannot be a poet, be the poem.

David Carradine

Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits.

Carl Sandburg

I still read Donne, particularly his love poems.

Carol Ann Duffy

Always be a poet, even in prose.

Charles Baudelaire

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

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

Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.

Carl Sandburg

Each memorable verse of a true poet has two or three times the written content.

Alfred de Musset

“Therefore” is a word the poet must not know.

Andre Gide

A poem might be defined as thinking about feelings – about human feelings and frailties.

Anne Stevenson

Each word bears its weight, so you have to read my poems quite slowly.

Anne Stevenson

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

The moment of change is the only poem.

Adrienne Rich

Anybody in the next centuries wanting to know what it was like to be a poet in the middle of the 20th century should read Kaddish.

Leslie Fiedler

Poetry should be great and unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one’s soul, and does not startle it or amaze it with itself, but with its subject.

John Keats

Poetry should surprise by a fine excess and not by singularity – it should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance.

John Keats

It is easier to write an indifferent poem than to understand a good one.

Michel de Montaigne

It is always fatal to have music or poetry interrupted.

George Eliot

Poetry is the music of the soul, and, above all, of great and feeling souls.

Voltaire – Poetry

Verses which do not teach men new and moving truths do not deserve to be read.

Voltaire – Poetry

Good poetry seems too simple and natural a thing that when we meet it we wonder that all men are not always poets. Poetry is nothing but healthy speech.

Henry David Thoreau

Poetry implies the whole truth, philosophy expresses only a particle of it.

Henry David Thoreau

Every man will be a poet if he can; otherwise a philosopher or man of science. This proves the superiority of the poet.

Henry David Thoreau

The great function of poetry is to give back to us the situations of our dreams.

Gaston Bachelard

Nothing is poetical if plain daylight is not poetical; and no monster should amaze us if the normal man does not amaze.

G.K. Chesterton

The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.

G.K. Chesterton

Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.

G.K. Chesterton

A poet can survive everything but a misprint.

Oscar Wilde

Poetry is the universal language which the heart holds with nature and itself. He who has a contempt for poetry, cannot have much respect for himself, or for anything else.

William Hazlitt

The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world is to see something and what it saw in a plain way. To see clearly is poetry, prophecy and religion – all in one.

John Ruskin

Lyrical poetry is out for the time being, and something that is called rap or hip-hop is in. It is still poetry, and we can’t live without it. We need language to tell us who we are, how we feel, what we’re capable of – to explain the pains and glory of our existence.

Maya Angelou

Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history; for poetry expresses the universal, and history only the particular.

Aristotle

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 we have personality and emotion know what it means to want to escape from these things.

T.S. Eliot

When a poet’s mind is perfectly equipped for its work, it is constantly amalgamating disparate experiences.

T.S. Eliot Quotes

Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.

T.S. Eliot

Poetry is emotion put into measure. The emotion must come by nature, but the measure can be acquired by art.

Thomas Hardy

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