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The Best Quotations

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Poetry


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Quotations

Robert FrostPoetry is what gets lost in translation.

—  Robert Frost, 1874-1963, American poet

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Samuel Taylor ColeridgeProse: words in their best order; poetry: the best words in their best order.

—  Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1772-1834, English poet & philosopher

2 likes
Wallace StevensA poet looks at the world as a man looks at a woman.

—  Wallace Stevens, 1879-1955, American poet

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Wallace StevensThe poet is the priest of the invisible.

—  Wallace Stevens, 1879-1955, American poet

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Wallace StevensIt is not everyday that the world arranges itself into a poem.

—  Wallace Stevens, 1879-1955, American poet

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AristotleFor the purposes of poetry a convincing impossibility is preferable to an unconvincing possibility.

—  Aristotle, 384-322 BC, Ancient Greek philosopher

AristotlePoetry is for an intelligent man or a madman.

—  Aristotle, 384-322 BC, Ancient Greek philosopher

HoraceMediocrity in poets has never been tolerated by either men, or gods, or booksellers.

—  Horace, 65-8 BC, Roman poet

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

—  Aristotle, 384-322 BC, Ancient Greek philosopher

AristotleHomer has taught all other poets the art of telling lies skillfully.

—  Aristotle, 384-322 BC, Ancient Greek philosopher

H.L. MenckenA poet more than thirty years old is simply an overgrown child.

—  H.L. Mencken, 1880-1956, American columnist & cultural critic

Joseph RouxScience is for those who learn; poetry, for those who know.

—  Joseph Roux, 1834-1905, French clergyman & poet

Joseph RouxPoetry is the exquisite expression of exquisite impressions.

—  Joseph Roux, 1834-1905, French clergyman & poet

Joseph RouxPoetry is truth in its Sunday clothes.

—  Joseph Roux, 1834-1905, French clergyman & poet

Oscar WildeThere are two ways of disliking poetry; one way is to dislike it, the other is to read Pope.

—  Oscar Wilde, 1854-1900, Irish writer

Ralph Waldo EmersonPoetry must be new as foam, and as old as the rock.

—  Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1884, American philosopher

Samuel JohnsonPoetry is the art of uniting pleasure with truth.

—  Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784, English writer

Samuel JohnsonTo a poet nothing can be useless.

—  Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784, English writer

William BlakeOne Power alone makes a Poet: Imagination. The Divine Vision.

—  William Blake, 1757-1827, English poet & painter

Samuel Taylor ColeridgeNot the poem which we have read, but that to which we return, with the greatest pleasure, possesses the genuine power, and claims the name of essential poetry.

—  Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1772-1834, English poet & philosopher

Samuel Taylor ColeridgeNo man was ever yet a great poet, without being at the same time a profound philosopher.

—  Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1772-1834, English poet & philosopher

Samuel Taylor ColeridgeThe book of Job is pure Arab poetry of the highest and most antique cast.

—  Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1772-1834, English poet & philosopher

John KeatsIf poetry does not come as naturally as leaves to a tree, then it better not come at all.

—  John Keats, 1795-1821, English poet

John KeatsPoetry 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, 1795-1821, English poet

Lord ByronA great poet belongs to no country; his works are public property, and his memoirs the inheritance of the public.

—  Lord Byron, 1788-1824, British poet

Jean AnouilhInspiration is a farce that poets have invented to give themselves importance.

—  Jean Anouilh, 1910-1987, French playwright

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

—  Carl Sandburg, 1878-1967, American poet

Carl SandburgPoetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance.

—  Carl Sandburg, 1878-1967, American poet

Jean CocteauPoetry is indispensable — if I only knew what for.

—  Jean Cocteau, 1889-1963, French artist

Jean CocteauThe worst tragedy for a poet is to be admired through being misunderstood.

—  Jean Cocteau, 1889-1963, French artist

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

—  Jean Cocteau, 1889-1963, French artist

Jean CocteauThe poet doesn't invent. He listens.

—  Jean Cocteau, 1889-1963, French artist

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

—  Jean Cocteau, 1889-1963, French artist

Charles BaudelaireAlways be a poet, even in prose.

—  Charles Baudelaire, 1821-1867, French poet

Paul ValeryPoetry is to prose as dancing is to walking.

—  Paul Valery, 1871-1945, French poet

Paul ValeryPoetry is a separate language, or more specifically, a language within a language.

—  Paul Valery, 1871-1945, French poet

Paul ValeryA bad poem is one that vanishes into meaning.

—  Paul Valery, 1871-1945, French poet

Jacques LacanThe reason we go to poetry is not for wisdom, but for the dismantling of wisdom.

—  Jacques Lacan, 1901-1981, French psychoanalyst

Sigmund FreudEverywhere I go I find a poet has been there before me.

—  Sigmund Freud, 1856-1939, Austrian psychologist, founder of psychoanalysis

Victor HugoThe literate, the erudite, the learned mount by means of ladders; poets and artists are birds.

—  Victor Hugo, 1802-1885, French writer

Alfred North WhiteheadShakespeare wrote better poetry for not knowing too much; Milton, I think, knew too much finally for the good of his poetry.

—  Alfred North Whitehead, 1861-1947, British philosopher & mathematician

Robert FrostTo be a poet is a condition, not a profession.

—  Robert Frost, 1874-1963, American poet

Robert FrostA complete poem is one where an emotion finds the thought and the thought finds the words.

—  Robert Frost, 1874-1963, American poet

Robert FrostWriting free verse is like playing tennis with the net down.

—  Robert Frost, 1874-1963, American poet

Walt WhitmanYour very flesh shall be a great poem.

—  Walt Whitman, 1819-1892, American poet

T. S. EliotImmature poets imitate; mature poets steal.

—  T. S. Eliot, 1888-1965, British poet, Nobel 1948

T. S. EliotGenuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.

—  T. S. Eliot, 1888-1965, British poet, Nobel 1948

T. S. EliotPoetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion;
it is not the expression of personality but an escape from personality.

—  T. S. Eliot, 1888-1965, British poet, Nobel 1948

T. S. EliotPoetry is not an assertion of truth, but the making of that truth more fully real to us.

—  T. S. Eliot, 1888-1965, British poet, Nobel 1948

VirgilIt is easier to steal the club of Hercules than a line from Homer.

—  Virgil, 70-19 BC, Roman poet

Charles DarwinIf I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week.

—  Charles Darwin, 1809-1882, British scientist

Alexander the GreatO happy youth! in having found a Homer to celebrate thy virtues!

—  Alexander the Great, 356-323 BC, King of Macedon

     (at the tomb of Achilles)

Oscar WildeA poet can survive everything but a misprint.

—  Oscar Wilde, 1854-1900, Irish writer

DanteHomer, the sovereign poet.

—  Dante, 1265-1321, Italian poet


Personal Stories

Carl SandburgI've written some poetry I don't understand myself.

—  Carl Sandburg, 1878-1967, American poet


Quotes in Verse

Wallace StevensThrow away the light, the definitions, and say what you see in the dark.

—  Wallace Stevens, 1879-1955, American poet

1 likes
Wallace StevensThe poem must resist the intelligence
Almost successfully.

—  Wallace Stevens, 1879-1955, American poet

1 likes
Wallace StevensA poem is a meteor.

—  Wallace Stevens, 1879-1955, American poet

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Robert FrostPoetry is a way of taking life by the throat.

—  Robert Frost, 1874-1963, American poet


Funny Quotes

Steven WrightI was reading the dictionary. I thought it was a poem about everything.

—  Steven Wright, 1955-, American comedian

1 likes
G. K. ChestertonPoets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.

—  G. K. Chesterton, 1874-1936, English writer & critic


Movie Quotes

Alphaville (1965)Do you know what illuminates the night? Poetry.

—  from the film Alphaville (1965)










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