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Teacher's Best - The Creative Process

Poetry Quotes

literature & language arts | poetry forms

Lou Andreas-Salome ~
• “Poetry is something in-between the dream and its interpretation.”

Guillaume Apollinaire ~
• “Without poets, without artists, men would soon weary of nature's monotony.”

Hannah Arendt ~
• “Poetry, whose material is language, is perhaps the most human and least worldly of the arts, the one in which the end product remains closest to the thought that inspired it.”

Aristophanes ~
• “These impossible women! How they do get around us! The poet was right: Can't live with them, or without them.”

Antonin Artaud ~
• “No one has ever written, painted, sculpted, modeled, built, or invented except literally to get out of hell.”

W. H. Auden ~
• “Poetry might be defined as the clear expression of mixed feelings.”
• “A poet must never make a statement simply because it is sounds poetically exciting; he must also believe it to be true.”

Charles Baudelaire ~
• “Always be a poet, even in prose.”
• “One should always be drunk. That's all that matters...But with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you chose. But get drunk.”

Georges Braque ~
• “Reality only reveals itself when it is illuminated by a ray of poetry.”

Gwendolyn Brooks ~
• “Poetry is life distilled.”

Robert Browning ~
• “God is the perfect poet.”

Charles Bukowski ~
• “Poetry is what happens when nothing else can.”

Edmund Burke ~
• “Poetry is the art of substantiating shadows.”

Edward Bulwer-Lytton ~
• “He who writes prose builds his temple to Fame in rubble; he who writes verses builds it in granite.”

Jacob Burckhardt ~
• “History is still in large measure poetry to me.”

G. K. Chesterton ~
• “Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”

Jean Cocteau ~
• “Such is the role of poetry. It unveils, in the strict sense of the word. It lays bare, under a light which shakes off torpor, the surprising things which surround us and which our senses record mechanically.”
• “A true poet does not bother to be poetical. Nor does a nursery gardener scent his roses.”

Leonard Cohen ~
• “Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge ~
• “Poetry: the best words in the best order.”

Colette ~
• “To a poet, silence is an acceptable response, even a flattering one.”

Emily Dickinson ~
• If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?
• “To see the Summer Sky
Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie –
True Poems flee – ”

Denis Diderot ~
• “Poetry must have something in it that is barbaric, vast and wild.”

Rita Dove ~
• “Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.”
• “If we’re going to solve the problems of the world, we have to learn how to talk to one another. Poetry is the language at its essence. It’s the bones and the skeleton of the language. It teaches you, if nothing else, how to choose your words.”

John Dryden ~
• “Dancing is the poetry of the foot.”

Gustave Flaubert ~
• “There is not a particle of life which does not bear poetry within it.”

Lawrence Ferlinghetti ~
• “Poetry is eternal graffiti written in the heart of everyone.”
• “Poetry is the shadow cast by our imaginations.”
• “Constantly risking absurdity and death whenever he performs above the heads of his audience, the poet, like an acrobat, climbs on rhyme to a high wire of his own making.”
• “We have to raise the consciousness; the only way poets can changethe world is to raise the consciousness of the general populace.”

E. M. Forster ~
• “A poem is true if it hangs together. Information points to something else. A poem points to nothing but itself.”

Robert Frost ~
• “A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.”
• “To be a poet is a condition, not a profession.”
• “Poetry is what gets lost in translation.”

Zona Gale ~
• “I don't know a better preparation for life than a love of poetry and a good digestion.”

Carl Friedrich Gauss ~
• “You have no idea how much poetry there is in a table of logarithms.”

Robert Graves ~
• “If there's no money in poetry, neither is there poetry in money.”
• “To be a poet is a condition rather than a profession.”

Thomas Gray ~
• “Poetry is thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.”

Thomas Hardy ~
• “If Galileo had said in verse that the world moved, the inquisition might have let him alone.”

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper ~
• “Every mother should endeavor to be a true artist, who knows how to weave into her child's life images of grace and beauty, the true poet capable of writing on the soul of childhood the harmony of love and truth, and teaching it how to produce the grandest of all poems - the poetry of a true and noble life.”

William Hazlitt ~
• “Poetry is the universal language which the heart holds with nature and itself.”
• “Poetry is all that is worth remembering in life.”

A. E. Housman ~
• “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.”

Horace ~
• “A picture is a poem without words.”

Joyce Kilmer ~
• “I think that I shall never see, A poem lovely as a tree. ...”

Joyce Kilmer ~
• “I think that I shall never see, A poem lovely as a tree. ...”

Alphonse de Lamartine ~
• “Poets and heroes are of the same race, the latter do what the former conceive.”

Audre Lorde ~
• “For women . . . poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of light within which we can predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action. Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives.”
• “Poetry is not only dream and vision; it is the skeleton architecture of our lives. It lays the foundations for a future of change, a bridge across our fears of what has never been before.”
• “. . . it is through poetry that we give name to those ideas which are — until the poem — nameless and formless, about to be birthed, but already felt.”

Stephane Mallarme ~
• “The poetic act consists of suddenly seeing that an idea splits up into a number of equal motifs and of grouping them; they rhyme.”

John Masefield ~
• “Poetry is a mixture of common sense, which not all have, with an uncommon sense, which very few have.”
• “Since the printing press came into being, poetry has ceased to be the delight of the whole community of man; it has become the amusement and delight of the few.”

Francois Mauriac ~
• “To love someone is to see a miracle invisible to others.”

Carson McCullers ~
• “The writer by nature of his profession is a dreamer and a conscious dreamer. He must imagine, and imagination takes humility, love and great courage. How can you create a character without love and the struggle that goes with love?”

Christopher Morley ~
• “The courage of the poet is to keep ajar the door that leads into madness.”

Plato ~
• “Poetry comes nearer to vital truth than history.”
• “Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.”

Edgar Allan Poe ~
• “Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.”
• “With me poetry has not been a purpose, but a passion.”

Rainer Maria Rilke ~
• “Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.” ~ • “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.” Letter, 1903

Arthur Rimbaud ~
• “The first study for the man who wants to be a poet is knowledge of himself, complete: he searches for his soul, he inspects it, he puts it to the test, he learns it. As soon as he has learned it, he must cultivate it! I say that one must be a seer, make oneself a seer. The poet becomes a seer through a long, immense, and reasoned derangement of all the senses. All shapes of love suffering, madness. He searches himself, he exhausts all poisons in himself, to keep only the quintessences. Ineffable torture where he needs all his faith, all his superhuman strength, where he becomes among all men the great patient, the great criminal, the great accursed one – and the supreme Scholar! For he reaches the unknown! ....So the poet is actually a thief of Fire!”

Muriel Rukeyser ~
• “The fear of poetry is an indication that we are cut off from our own reality.”
• “If there were no poetry on any day in the world, poetry would be invented that day. For there would be an intolerable hunger.”

Rumi ~
• “Poetry can be dangerous, especially beautiful poetry, because it gives the illusion of having had the experience without actually going through it.

Salman Rushdie ~
• “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.”

J. D. Salinger ~
• “Poets are always taking the weather so personally.”

Carl Sandburg ~
• “Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.”
• “Poetry is a packsack of invisible keepsakes.”
• “Ordering a man to write a poem is like commanding a pregnant woman to give birth to a red-headed child.”
• “Poetry is the journal of the sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air. Poetry is a search for syllables to shoot at the barriers of the unknown and the unknowable. Poetry is a phantom script telling how rainbows are made and why they go away.”
• “I've written some poetry I don't understand myself.” 
• “Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits.” 

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

Percy Bysshe Shelley ~
• “Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.”
• “Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted.”
• “Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.”
• “A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds.”

Edith Sitwell ~
• “Poetry is the deification of reality.”
• “The poet speaks to all men of that other life of theirs that they have smothered and forgotten.”

Wallace Stevens ~
• “A poet looks at the world the way a man looks at a woman.”

Dylan Thomas ~
• “A good poem is a contribution to reality. The world is never the same once a good poem has been added to it. A good poem helps to change the shape of the universe, helps to extend everyone's knowledge of himself and the world around him.”
• “These poems, with all their crudities, doubts, and confusions, are written for the love of Man and in praise of God, and I'd be a damn' fool if they weren't.”

Paul Verlaine ~
• “The poet is a madman lost in adventure.”

Leonardo da Vinci ~
• “Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”

Robert Penn Warren ~
• “The poem . . . is a little myth of man's capacity of making life meaningful. And in the end, the poem is not a thing we see—it is, rather, a light by which we may see—and what we see is life.”
• “For what is a poem but a hazardous attempt at self-understanding: it is the deepest part of autobiography.”

Walt Whitman ~
• “To have great poets there must be great audiences too.”
• “And your very flesh shall be a great poem.”
• “I say that democracy can never prove itself beyond cavil, until it founds and luxuriantly grows its own forms of art, poems, schools, theology, displacing all that exists, or that has been produced anywhere in the past, under opposite influences.”

Oscar Wilde ~
• “A poet can survive everything but a misprint.”

William Carlos Williams ~
• “Poets are damned but they are not blind, they see with the eyes of the angels.”
• “When they ask me, as of late they frequently do, how I have for so many years continued an equal interest in
medicine and the poem, I reply that they amount for me to nearly the same thing.”

William Wordsworth ~
• “Poetry is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge.”
• “All good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.”

William Butler Yeats ~
• “What can be explained is not poetry.”
• “Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric; out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry.”

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