165 Great Poetry Quotes To Inspire You

Following is our list of great poetry quotations and slogans full of insightful wisdom and perspective about beautiful poetry.

Great poetry quote
Inspirational great poetry quote

The Most Famous Great Poetry Quotes (Best in 2024)

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The joy of poetry is that it will wait for you. Novels don't wait for you. Characters change. But poetry will wait. I think it's the greatest art. — Sonia Sanchez

Poetry is life distilled. — Gwendolyn Brooks

The crown of literature is poetry. — W. Somerset Maugham

There is not a particle of life which does not bear poetry within it — Gustave Flaubert

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

What you have to realize when you write poetry, or if you love poetry, is that poetry is just naturally the greatest god damn thing that ever was in the whole universe — James Dickey

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

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

Great poetry quote

Poetry is at least an elegance and at most a revelation. — Robert Fitzgerald

I read as much poetry as time allows and circumstance dictates: No heartache can pass without a little Dorothy Parker, no thunderstorm without W. H. Auden, no sleepless night without W. B. Yeats. — J. Courtney Sullivan

Short Great Poetry Quotes

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  • All that is gold does not glitter. — J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Any great warrior is also a scholar, and a poet, and an artist. — Steven Seagal
  • A poem is never finished, only abandoned. — Paul Valery
  • The woods are lovely, dark, and deep but I have promises to keep... — Robert Frost
  • Time is the coin of life. Only you can determine how it will be spent. — Carl Sandburg
  • Great poetry is always written by somebody straining to go beyond what he can do. — Stephen Spender
  • And this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart I carry your heart [ i carry it in my heart ] — E. E. cummings
  • Poetry is everywhere; it just needs editing. — James Tate
  • I've had it with these cheap sons of bitches who claim they love poetry but never buy a book. — Kenneth Rexroth
  • Summer's lease hath all too short a date. — William Shakespeare

Great Poetry Image Quotes

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Great poetry quote by Steven Seagal

Any great warrior is also a scholar, and a poet, and an artist. — Steven Seagal

Great poetry quote Silence is a source of great strength.
Silence is a source of great strength.

Good Poetry Quotes

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Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth, 'you owe me.' Look what happens with a love like that! It lights up the whole sky. — Unknown Author

But I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin. — Aldous Huxley

The attempt to divide art and politics is a bourgeois which says good poetry, art, cannot be political, but since everything is … political, even an artist or work that claims not to have any politics is making a political statement by that act. — Amiri Baraka

Great poetry quote Make today so awesome, yesterday gets jealous.
Make today so awesome, yesterday gets jealous.

We only have one story. All novels, all poetry are built on the never-ending contest in ourselves of good and evil. — John Steinbeck

Will you love me in December as you do in May, Will you love me in the good old fashioned way? When my hair has all turned gray, Will you kiss me then and say, That you love me in December as you do in May? — Jimmy Walker

What other people may find in poetry or art museums, I find in the flight of a good drive. — Arnold Palmer

Great poetry quote Great minds discuss ideas.Average minds discuss events.Small minds discuss peopl
Great minds discuss ideas.Average minds discuss events.Small minds discuss people.

I don't think you get to good writing unless you expose yourself and your feelings. Deep songs don't come from the surface; they come from the deep down. The poetry and the songs that you are suppose to write, I believe are in your heart. — Judy Collins

Good poetry is like effective prayer, it feeds the human spirit, it nourishes, it puts us in touch with forces far greater than ourselves — Lorna Goodison

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

The Bible has noble poetry in it... and some good morals and a wealth of obscenity, and upwards of a thousand lies. — Mark Twain

Beautiful Poetry Quotes

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The small man builds cages for everyone he knows While the sage, who has to duck his head when the moon is low, Keeps dropping keys all night long For the beautiful rowdy prisoners. — Hafez

Real poetry, is to lead a beautiful life. To live poetry is better than to write it. — Matsuo Basho

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin Dance me through the panic 'til I'm gathered safely in Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove Dance me to the end of love — Leonard Cohen

Great poetry quote Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.
Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.

The harmony of the world is made manifest in Form and Number, and the heart and soul and all the poetry of Natural Philosophy are embodied in the concept of mathematical beauty. — D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson

Yes, I read. I have that absurd habit. I like beautiful poems, moving poetry, and all the beyond of that poetry. I am extraordinarily sensitive to those poor, marvelous words left in our dark night by a few men I never knew. — Louis Aragon

She walks in beauty, like the night Of cloudless climes and starry skies; And all that's best of dark and bright Meet in her aspect and her eyes. — Lord Byron

Great poetry quote Acknowledge all of your small victories. They will eventually add up to somethin
Acknowledge all of your small victories. They will eventually add up to something great.

A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul. — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

There is no longer beauty except in the struggle. No more masterpieces without an aggressive character. Poetry must be a violent assault against the unknown forces in order to overcome them and prostrate them before men. — Filippo Tommaso Marinetti

In a time of destruction, create something: a poem, a parade, a community, a school, a vow, a moral principle; one peaceful moment. — Maxine Hong Kingston

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

Love Poetry Quotes

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Great poetry quote

We were together. I forget the rest. — Walt Whitman

Don’t you love the Oxford Dictionary? When I first read it, I thought it was a really really long poem about everything. — David Bowie

Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and a richness to life that nothing else can bring. — Oscar Wilde

Great poetry quote You need a little bit of insanity to do great things.
You need a little bit of insanity to do great things.

Love in the Arab world is like a prisoner, and I want to set (it) free. I want to free the Arab soul, sense and body with my poetry. The relationships between men and women in our society are not healthy. — Nizar Qabbani

What is Music? How do you define it? Music is a calm moonlit night, the rustle of leaves in Summer. Music is the far off peal of bells at dusk! Music comes straight from the heart and talks only to the heart: it is Love! Music is the Sister of Poetry and her Mother is sorrow! — Sergei Rachmaninoff

To be wild is not to be crazy or psychotic. True wildness is a love of nature, a delight in silence, a voice free to say spontaneous things, and an exuberant curiosity in the face of the unknown. — Robert Bly

Great poetry quote

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul. — Emily Dickinson

I give you my hand, I give you my love more precious than money, I give you myself before preaching or law; Will you give me yourself? — Walt Whitman

Neither poetry, nor ambition, nor love have any alertness of countenance as they pass by me. — John Keats

For every poet it is always morning in the world; history a forgotten, insomniac night. The fate of poetry is to fall in love with the world in spite of history. — Derek Walcott

Writing Poetry Quotes

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At the age when Bengali youth almost inevitably writes poetry, I was listening to European classical music. — Satyajit Ray

When you write a song, most of the words you use are in black and white, and then, from time to time, you use one that’s in color. These words in color are a part of ourselves, because we give them a meaning. If you like, we give them a third dimension. — Jacques Brel

Write, form a rhizome, increase your territory by deterritorialization, extend the line of flight to the point where it becomes an abstract machine covering the entire plane of consistency. — Gilles Deleuze

Great poetry quote

Poetry is a packsack of invisible keepsakes. — Carl Sandburg

It was commonplace for colleagues to write comic poetry to each other, predicting the manner in which they might die. — Oliver Burkeman

The best craftsmanship always leaves holes and gaps... so that something that is not in the poem can creep, crawl, flash or thunder in. — Dylan Thomas

Great poetry quote

I was a late bloomer. But anyone who blooms at all, ever, is very lucky. — Sharon Olds

Writing was a political act and poetry was a cultural weapon. — Linton Kwesi Johnson

Sometimes I wish I was poetic and subtle. I write very bold and blunt and tell it like it is. — Pink

In a way I spend my entire life stealing from everything - from the past, from cities I love, from where I grew up - grabbing things, taking not only from architecture but from Italy, art, writing, poetry, music. — Renzo Piano

Modern Poetry Quotes

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You have to really dive deep back into yourself and get rid of so much modern analytical categorization. It's one of the great things poetry does. — Robert Morgan

You know I have about the same interest in jewelry as I have in politics, horse racing, modern poetry, and women who need weird excitement – none. — Cary Grant

Too many people in the modern world view poetry as a luxury, not a necessity like petrol. But to me it's the oil of life. — John Betjeman

Great poetry quote Failure is a great teacher, and, if you are open to it, every mistake has a less
Failure is a great teacher, and, if you are open to it, every mistake has a lesson to offer.

Most poetry is very formal, but when a modern poet is formal he gets more attention for it than old poets did. — Robert Lowell

High and low culture come together in all Post Modern art, and American poetry is not excluded from this. — Diane Wakoski

Modern poetry, for me, began not in English at all but in Spanish, in the poems of Lorca. — W. S. Merwin

Great poetry quote To a great mind, nothing is little.
To a great mind, nothing is little.

The way in which modern German poetry follows theories reminds me of pupils who, scolded by their teacher for their insubordination, justify themselves by saying that they invented new rules of propriety according to which they are quite well- behaved. — Franz Grillparzer

The reason modern poetry is difficult is so that the poet's wife cannot understand it. — Wendy Cope

I think that one possible definition of our modern culture is that it is one in which nine-tenths of our intellectuals can't read any poetry. — Randall Jarrell

I had art as a major, along with English, French and History. I had dance, modern dance. In English I was allowed to write my own poetry, which I eventually got published. — Sally Kirkland

English Poetry Quotes

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I was in Paris at an English-language bookstore. I picked up a volume of Dickinson's poetry. I came back to my hotel, read 2,000 of her poems and immediately began composing in my head. I wrote down the melodies even before I got to a piano. — Gordon Getty

I really enjoy English and poetry and writing classes. You do get writer's block when you're writing music, and having inspiration from other great writers is great. You have to look for inspiration because sometimes music isn't the only thing that you can look at. — Taylor Momsen

When it came to a lot of these German actors with the English, they just couldn't do it. They couldn't get the poetry out of it. They couldn't own it and make it their own. And then Christoph [Waltz] came in, and I didn't know who Christoph was. — Quentin Tarantino

Great poetry quote Average people have great ideas. Legends have great execution.
Average people have great ideas. Legends have great execution.

I started off in England and very few people knew I was Australian. I mean, the clues were in the poems, but they didn't read them very carefully, and so for years and years I was considered completely part of the English poetry scene. — Peter Porter

I believe that every English poet should read the English classics, master the rules of grammar before he attempts to bend or break them, travel abroad, experience the horrors of sordid passion, and - if he is lucky enough - know the love of an honest woman. — Robert Graves

The great watershed of modern poetry is French, more than English. — Robert Morgan

Great poetry quote Don't fear the failure... in great attempts it is glorious even to fail.
Don't fear the failure... in great attempts it is glorious even to fail.

The truest and greatest Poetry, (while subtly and necessarily always rhythmic, and distinguishable easily enough) can never again, in the English language, be express'd in arbitrary and rhyming metre, any more than the greatest eloquence, or the truest power and passion. — Walt Whitman

When I'm writing poetry, 99.9% of my writing begins in English. I spent most of my life in English, although I am bilingual. — Pat Mora

As for poetry 'belonging' in the classroom, it's like the way they taught us sex in those old hygiene classes: not performance but semiotics. If it I had taken Hygiene 71 seriously, I would have become a monk; & if I had taken college English seriously, I would have become an accountant. — Jerome Rothenberg

In English, we were still on the Introduction to Poetry Unit, and I'm not lying, if I ever meet Percy Bysshe Shelley walking down the streets of Marysville, I'm going to punch him right in the face. — Gary D. Schmidt

What Is Poetry Quotes

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If I could take your troubles I would toss them into the sea, But all these things I'm finding Are impossible for me. I cannot build a mountain Or catch a rainbow fair, But let me be what I know best, A friend that is always there. — Kahlil Gibran

Do you know what you are? You are a manuscript oƒ a divine letter. You are a mirror reflecting a noble face. This universe is not outside of you. Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you are already that. — Rumi

Carpe diem! Rejoice while you are alive; enjoy the day; live life to the fullest; make the most of what you have. It is later than you think. — Horace

Great poetry quote If an egg is broken by outside, life ends. If broken by inside force, life begin
If an egg is broken by outside, life ends. If broken by inside force, life begins. Great things always begin from inside.

...and then, I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough? — Vincent Van Gogh

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

As things are, and as fundamentally they must always be, poetry is not a career, but a mug's game. No honest poet can ever feel quite sure of the permanent value of what he has written: He may have wasted his time and messed up his life for nothing. — T. S. Eliot

Love itself is what is left over when being "in love" has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. — Louis de Bernieres

Poetry is man's rebellion against being what he is. — James Branch Cabell

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

Pure poetry in motion. A swift-moving, heartfelt tale of love and loss, two stories intersecting-an d connecting-by magic. Michelle Baker is a born poet, and a born writer. The Canoe is just the start of what I hope to be a long idyllic journey through the love and soul of the human heart. — Trent Zelazny

French Poetry Quotes

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German poetry is going in a very different direction from French poetry.... Its language has become more sober, more factual. It distrusts "beauty." It tries to be truthful. — Paul Celan

I guess I wanted to leave America for awhile. It wasn't that I wanted to become an expatriate, or just never come back, I needed some breathing room. I'd already been translating French poetry, I'd been to Paris once before and liked it very much, and so I just went. — Paul Auster

In his youth, Wordsworth sympathized with the French Revolution, went to France, wrote good poetry and had a natural daughter. At this period, he was a bad man. Then he became good, abandoned his daughter, adopted correct principles and wrote bad poetry. — Bertrand Russell

How many really great writers are there who are totally non-political? You can hear the French Revolution in the poetry of [Percy Bysshe] Shelly and [John] Wordsworth; you can sense the vast inequalities of Tsarist Russia in [Anton] Chekhov and [Lev] Tolstoy. — Adam Hochschild

I was always interested in French poetry sort of as a sideline to my own work, I was translating contemporary French poets. That kind of spilled out into translation as a way to earn money, pay for food and put bread on the table. — Paul Auster

In the French language, there is a great gulf between prose and poetry; in English, there is hardly any difference. It is a splendid privilege of the great literary languages Greek, Latin, and French that they possess a prose. English has not this privilege. There is no prose in English. — Victor Hugo

Let's be honest - Bill Murray was onto something when he laughed at Andie MacDowell's degree in 19th century French poetry in 'Groundhog Day'. — Marco Rubio

The language of the age is never the language of poetry, except among the French, whose verse, where the thought or image does not support it, differs in nothing from prose. — Thomas Gray

I hate French poetry. What measured glitter! — Israel Zangwill

French is not a language that lends itself naturally to the opaque and ponderous idiom of nature-philosophy, and Teilhard has according resorted to the use of that tipsy, euphoristic prose-poetry which is one of the more tiresome manifestations of the French spirit. — Peter Medawar

Reading Poetry Quotes

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It is absurd and anti-life to be part of a system that compels you to listen to a stranger reading poetry when you want to learn to construct buildings, or to sit with a stranger discussing the construction of buildings when you want to read poetry. — John Taylor Gatto

Reading poetry and watching cricket were the sum of my world, and the two are not so far apart as many aesthetes might believe. — Donald Bradman

People who read poetry have heard about the burning bush, but when you write poetry, you sit inside the burning bush. — Li-Young Lee

Children read to learn - even when they are reading fantasy, nonsense, light verse, comics or the copy on cereal packets, they are expanding their minds all the time, enlarging their vocabulary, making discoveries - it is all new to them. — Joan Aiken

Reading poetry is an adventure in renewal, a creative act, a perpetual beginning, a rebirth of wonder. — Edward Hirsch

If 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

If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry. — Emily Dickinson

We have seen the best minds of our generation destroyed by boredom at poetry readings. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Only the very weak-minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry. — Cassandra Clare

One good way to start writing poetry is to read all kinds of poetry: not just in order to imitate but to fill up your head with it, to absorb it, to make poetry an essential part of how you view the world. — Valerie Worth

Poetry Is Quotes

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With the wild nature as ally and teacher we see not through two eyes but through the many eyes of intuition. With intuition we are like the starry night, we gaze at the world through a thousand eyes. The wild woman is fluent in the language of dreams, images, passion, and poetry. — Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility. — William Wordsworth

The truth is... everything counts. Everything. Everything we do and everything we say. Everything helps or hurts; everything adds to or takes away from someone else. — Countee Cullen

My idea is to bring happiness, respect, vision, poetry, surrealism and magic [to design]. — Philippe Starck

If you deconstruct Greece, you will in the end see an olive tree, a grapevine, and a boat remain. That is, with as much, you reconstruct her. — Odysseas Elytis

All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry. — Edgar Allan Poe

The cloning of humans is on most of the lists of things to worry about from Science, along with behaviour control, genetic engineering, transplanted heads, computer poetry and the unrestrained growth of plastic flowers. — Lewis Thomas

The fact is that poetry is not the books in the library . . . Poetry is the encounter of the reader with the book, the discovery of the book. — Jorge Luis Borges

When everything goes right a mobile is a piece of poetry that dances with the joy of life and surprise! — Alexander Calder

Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits. — Carl Sandburg

People Writing About Great Poetry

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Name Quotes Likes
Read quotes by Robert Frost

Robert Frost
quotes on life, love and nature

483 5638
Read quotes by Sonia Sanchez

Sonia Sanchez
quotes on love

25 1556
Read quotes by J. R. R. Tolkien

J. R. R. Tolkien
quotes on love, life and adventure

752 8835
Read quotes by Kenneth Rexroth

Kenneth Rexroth
quotes on love, leadership and life

41 155
Read quotes by E. E. cummings

E. E. cummings

252 2297
Read quotes by Stephen Spender

Stephen Spender
quotes on education, life and love

60 345

More Great Poetry Quotes

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How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of Being and ideal Grace. — Elizabeth Barrett Browning

The dance is the mother of the arts. Music and poetry exist in time; painting and architecture in space. But the dance lives at once in time and space. — Curt Sachs

It is a great feeling to know that from a window I can go to books to cans of beer to past loves. And from these gather enough dream to sneak out a back door. — Gregory Corso

From the poetry of Lord Byron they drew a system of ethics compounded of misanthropy and voluptuousness,-a system in which the two great commandments were to hate your neighbour and to love your neighbour's wife. — Thomas B. Macaulay

The best poetry has its roots in the subconscious to a great degree. Youth, naivety, reliance on instinct more than learning and method, a sense of freedom and play, even trust in randomness, is necessary to the making of a poem. — May Swenson

Not all poetry wants to be storytelling. And not all storytelling wants to be poetry. But great storytellers and great poets share something in common: They had something to say, and did. — Sarah Kay

Poetry has always mattered, through human history, through all kinds of cultures, all kinds of violence and human desolation, as well as periods of great human affirmation. It's been associated with the power of the word, with the sacred, with magic and transformation, with the oral narratives that help a people cohere. — Adrienne Rich

Bangladesh is a world of metaphor, of high and low theater, of great poetry and music. You talk to a rice farmer and you find a poet. You get to know a sweeper of the streets and you find a remarkable singer. — Jean Houston

The reverie we intend to study is poetic reverie. This is a reverie which poetry puts on the right track, the track an expanding consciousness follows. This reverie is written, or, at least, promises to be written. It is already facing the great universe of the blank page. Then images begin to compose and fall into place. — Gaston Bachelard

To explain away the mystery of a great painting - if such a feat were possible - would do irreparable harm... If there is no mystery, then there is no poetry, the quality I value above all else in art. — Georges Braque

Poetry is not a civilizer, rather the reverse, for great poetry appeals to the most primitive instincts. — Robinson Jeffers

Poetry is a language in which man explores his own amazement. — Christopher Fry

But every great scripture, whether Hebrew, Indian, Persian, or Chinese, apart from its religious value will be found to have some rare and special beauty of its own; and in this respect the original Bible stands very high as a monument of sublime poetry and of artistic prose. — Lafcadio Hearn

All great questions must be raised by great voices, and the greatest voice is the voice of the people - speaking out - in prose, or painting or poetry or music; speaking out - in homes and halls, streets and farms, courts and cafes - let that voice speak and the stillness you hear will be the gratitude of mankind. — Robert Kennedy

It is the job of poetry to clean up our word-clogged reality by creating silences around things. — Stephane Mallarme

The many great gardens of the world, of literature and poetry, of painting and music, of religion and architecture, all make the point as clear as possible: The soul cannot thrive in the absence of a garden. If you don't want paradise, you are not human; and if you are not human, you don't have a soul. — Thomas Moore

This proves that great lyric poetry can die, be reborn, die again, but will always remain one of the most outstanding creations of the human soul. — Eugenio Montale

I would feel dead if I didn't have the ability periodically to put my world in order with a poem. I think to be inarticulate is a great suffering, and is especially so to anyone who has a certain knack for poetry. — Richard Wilbur

There was no really good true war book during the entire four years of the war. The only true writing that came through during the war was in poetry. One reason for this is that poets are not arrested as quickly as prose writers. — Ernest Hemingway

Great poetry needs no interpreter other than a responsive heart. — Helen Keller

To see the Summer Sky Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie— True Poems flee— — Emily Dickinson

and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you — E. E. cummings

Nobody, I think, ought to read poetry, or look at pictures or statues, who cannot find a great deal more in them than the poet or artist has actually expressed. Their highest merit is suggestiveness. — Nathaniel Hawthorne

My father died and left me his blessing and his business. His blessing brought no money into my pocket, and as to his business, it soon deserted me, for I was busy writing poetry, and could not attend to law, and my clients, though they had great respect for my talents, had no faith in a poetical attorney. — Washington Irving

Women do not have as great a need for poetry because their own essence is poetry. — Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

The poem is not a thing we see; it is, rather, a light by which we may see. — Robert Penn Warren

Marriage is like a golden ring in a chain, whose beginning is a glance and whose ending is eternity. — Kahlil Gibran

A poem begins with a lump in the throat — Robert Frost

The similarity between Van Gogh, Haiku poetry, and good photography is the concern for mortality. That things are very fleeting, that there are people who are more sensitive to death than others. The threat of time is of great concern to them. And the camera is a very appropriate instrument for many. — Dennis Stock

The underlying purpose of all art is to create patterns of imagery which somehow convey a sense of life set in a framework of order ... all great art ... harmonises consciousness with the ego-transcending Self. — Christopher Booker

Faith is mind at its best, its bravest, and its fiercest. Faith is thought become poetry, and absorbing into itself the soul's great, passions. Faith is intellect carried up to its transfigurement. — Charles Henry Parkhurst

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

No man was ever yet a great poet, without being at the same time a profound philosopher. — Samuel Taylor Coleridge

There has never been a great poet who wasn't also a great reader of poetry. — Edward Hirsch

In Conclusion

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