A Bringer of New Things

Musings on personal growth, books, motherhood, writing, and more.

Quotes: Poetry

“Poetry is the silent voice that is heard everywhere inside of us.”
source unknown to me

“Poetry expresses the universal, and history the particular.”

“Poetry…is…a speaking picture, with this end: to teach and delight.”
Sir Philip Sydney

“Poetry is simply the most beautiful, impressive and widely effective mode of saying things.”
Matthew Arnold

“Poetry is that art which selects and arranges the symbols of thought in such a manner as to excite the imagination the most powerfully and delightfully.”
William Cullen Bryant

“[Poetry is]…the best words in the best order.”
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“Words written in verse may speak volumes when those spoken do not.”
Caressia Combs

“Music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from the dance… poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from music.”
Ezra Pound

“Poetry is above all a concentration of the power of language, which is the power of our ultimate relationship to everything in the universe.”
Adrienne Rich

“Poetry ought to go straight to the heart because it has come from the heart.”
Friedrich Schiller

“Poetry is important. No less than science, it seeks a hold upon reality, and the closeness of its approach is the test of its success.”
Babette Deutsch

“If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know it is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know this is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?”
Emily Dickinson

“The business of the poet is not to find new emotions, but to use the ordinary ones and, in working them up into poetry, to express feelings which are not in actual emotions at all. And emotions which he has never experienced will serve his turn as well as those familiar to him.”
T. S. Eliot

“Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.”
T. S. Eliot

“Poetry is either something that lives like fire inside you—like music to the musician or Marxism to the Communist—or else it is nothing.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Poetry is as precise a thing as geometry.”
Gustave Flaubert

“Poetry is the doorway to the soul.”

“What is a Poet? To whom does he address himself? And what language is to be expected from him? He is a man speaking to men: a man, it is true, endued with more lively sensibility, more enthusiasm and tenderness, who has a greater knowledge of human nature, and a more comprehensive soul than are supposed to be common among mankind; a man pleased with his own passions and volitions, and who rejoices more than other men in the spirit of life that is in him; delighting to contemplate similar volitions and passions as manifested in the goings-on of the Universe, and habitually impelled to create them where he does not find them.”
William Wordsworth

[Technical definition] “There are five fundamental qualities that distinguish poetry from prose: utilizing the line as the primary unit rather than the sentence, a heightened use of images, greater attention to the sound of words, development of rhythm, and creating density by implying far more than is stated directly.”
Stephen Minot, Three Genres

“In a poem the words should be as pleasing to the ear as the meaning is to the mind.”
Marianne Moore

“Poetry provides the one permissible way of saying one thing and meaning another.”
Robert Frost

“A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom.”
Robert Frost

“Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down.”
Robert Frost

“Poetry is the most direct and simple means of expressing oneself in word.”
Northup Frye

“Poetry is not an expression of the party line. It’s that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public, that’s what the poet does.”
Allen Ginsberg

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

“Poetry is the universal language.”
William Hazlitt

“Poetry is something that should stir our emotions, or make us think new thoughts; whatever can do neither the one or the other may be very good verse, but it is not poetry.”
Lafadio Hearn

[Technical definition] “Poetry is a patterned form of verbal or written expression of ideas in concentrated, imaginative, and rhythmical terms. Poetry usually contains rhyme and a specific meter, but not necessarily.”
William Leahy, Fundamentals of Poetry

“By poetry we mean the art…of doing by means of words what the painter does by means of colors.”
Thomas Babington Macaulay

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

“All good poetry rouses in the heart a sense of the mystery and the meaning of the universe. It enlarges the mind to help us understand the goodness and the glory of life.”
Edwin Markham

“Poetry gives noble grounds for noble emotion; it is the rhythmical expression of beauty—beauty that is the smile upon the face of truth. All good poetry rouses in the heart a sense of the mystery and the meaning of the universe. It enlarges the mind to help us understand the goodness and the glory of life….[It] is the most condensed and noble form in which men have recorded emotion and wisdom.”
Edwin Markham

“Poetry is like making a joke. If you get one word wrong at the end of a joke, you’ve lost the whole thing.”
William Stanley Marvin

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Previous: Philosophy


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