165 Reading Poetry Quotes To Inspire You

Following is our list of reading poetry quotations and slogans full of insightful wisdom and perspective about good poetry.

Top 10 Reading Poetry Quotes (BEST)

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. People who read poetry have heard about the burning bush, but when you write poetry, you sit inside the burning bush. — Li-Young Lee
  5. Poetry is everywhere; it just needs editing. — James Tate
  6. Reading poetry is an adventure in renewal, a creative act, a perpetual beginning, a rebirth of wonder. — Edward Hirsch
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. We have seen the best minds of our generation destroyed by boredom at poetry readings. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti
  10. Only the very weak-minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry. — Cassandra Clare

Short Reading Poetry Quotes

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  • In Australia, not reading poetry is the national pastime. — Phyllis Mcginley
  • Almost any poem has to be read twice, first for strangeness, second for clarity. — Peter J. Daniels
  • Let me not to the marriage of true minds — William Shakespeare
  • Poetry is when you make new things familiar and familiar things new — Rory Sutherland
  • The works of great poets have never been read by mankind, for only great poets can read them. — Henry David Thoreau
  • I still read Donne, particularly his love poems — Carol Ann Duffy
  • Poetry is ordinary language raised to the Nth power. — Paul Engle
  • I wish you would read a little poetry sometimes. Your ignorance cramps my conversation. — Anthony Hope
  • A poet who reads his verse in public may have other nasty habits. — Robert A. Heinlein
  • We don't get groupies.We get teenagers who want to read us their poetry. — Michael Stipe
Reading poetry quote There comes a point in your life when you need to stop reading other people's bo
There comes a point in your life when you need to stop reading other people's book and write your own.

Writing Poetry Quotes

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

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

Reading poetry quote Reading is dreaming with open eyes.
Reading is dreaming with open eyes.

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

Reading poetry quote

Poetry is a packsack of invisible keepsakes. — Carl Sandburg

A poem is never finished, only abandoned. — Paul Valery

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

Reading 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

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

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep but I have promises to keep... — Robert Frost

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

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

Writing Poems Quotes

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I’d cut my soul into a million different pieces just to form a constellation to light your way home. I’d write love poems to the parts of yourself you can’t stand. I’d stand in the shadows of your heart and tell you I’m not afraid of your dark. — Andrea Gibson

It's possible, in a poem or short story, to write about commonplace things and objects using commonplace but precise language, and to endow those things—a chair, a window curtain, a fork, a stone, a woman's earring—with immense, even startling power. — Raymond Carver

You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing and dance, and write poems, and suffer, and understand, for all that is life. — Jiddu Krishnamurti

Your eyelashes will write on my heart the poem that could never come from the pen of a poet. — Rumi

Only truthful hands write true poems. I cannot see any basic difference between a handshake and a poem. — Paul Celan

Reading poetry quote

I prefer the absurdity of writing poems to the absurdity of not writing poems. — Wislawa Szymborska

Poetic justice, poetic justice.. if I told you that a flower bloom in a dark room would you trust it. I mean I write poems in these songs. — Kendrick Lamar

I have never started a poem yet whose end I knew. Writing a poem is discovering. — Robert Frost

The writing of a poem is like a child throwing stones into a mineshaft. You compose first, then you listen for the reverberation. — James Fenton

As you continue writing and rewriting, you begin to see possibilities you hadn't seen before. Writing a poem is always a process of discovery. — Robert Hayden

Poetry Is 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. — Khalil 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Is Poetry Quotes

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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

...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

Great poetry is always written by somebody straining to go beyond what he can do. — Stephen Spender

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

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 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

Great 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

All that is gold does not glitter. — J. R. R. Tolkien

Reading poetry quote

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

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

Time is the coin of life. Only you can determine how it will be spent. — Carl Sandburg

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

And this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart I carry your heart [ i carry it in my heart ] — E. E. cummings

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

Beautiful Poetry Quotes

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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

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

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

Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous - to poetry. But also, it gives birth to the opposite: to the perverse, the illicit, the absurd. — Thomas Mann

Lovers find secret places inside this violent world where they make transactions with beauty. — Rumi

Modern Poetry Quotes

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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

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

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

The arts generally have had to recognize Modernism - how should poetry escape? — John C. Ransom

Painting And Poetry Quotes

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Art works because it appeals to certain faculties of the mind. Music depends on details of the auditory system, painting and sculpture on the visual system. Poetry and literature depend on language. — Steven Pinker

Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what's inside you, to make your soul grow. — Kurt Vonnegut

Starry Starry night Paint your palette blue and gray Look out on a summer's day With eyes that know the darkness in my soul Shadows on the hills Sketch the trees and the daffodils Catch the breeze and the winter chills In colors on the snowy linen land. — Don McLean

I have to study politics and war so that my sons can study mathematics, commerce and agriculture, so their sons can study poetry, painting and music. — John Quincy Adams

Reading poetry quote

Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. — Plutarch

If you don’t have at least a working knowledge of the Hawaiian language… you can’t chant well. You cannot… receive the images of poetry paints for you. It’s like having peas and no pod. — Keali'i Reichel

What she did was to open our eyes to details of country life such as teaching us names of wild flowers and getting us to draw and paint and learn poetry. — Laurie Lee

The arts are not just a nice thing to have or to do if there is free time or if one can afford it. Rather, paintings and poetry, music and fashion, design and dialogue, they all define who we are as a people and provide an account of our history for the next generation. — Michelle Obama

The only way to get change is not through the courts or - heaven forbid - the politicians, but through a change of human consciousness and through a change of heart. Only through the arts - music, poetry, dance, painting, writing - "can we really reach each other. — Leslie Marmon Silko

Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen. — Leonardo da Vinci

Poetry By Poets Quotes

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Keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you. — Rudyard Kipling

I've had it with these cheap sons of bitches who claim they love poetry but never buy a book. — Kenneth Rexroth

We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. — Robin Williams

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds; his auditors are as men entranced by the melody of an unseen musician, who feel that they are moved and softened, yet know not whence or why. — Percy Bysshe Shelley

Poets are masters of us ordinary men, in knowledge of the mind, because they drink at streams which we have not yet made accessible to science. — Sigmund Freud

The inmost spirit of poetry, in other words, is at bottom, in every recorded case, the voice of pain – and the physical body, so to speak, of poetry, is the treatment by which the poet tries to reconcile that pain with the world. — Ted Hughes

Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion. — T. S. Eliot

The poet speaks adequately only when he speaks somewhat wildly... not with intellect alone, but with intellect inebriated by nectar. — Henry Miller

the rest of my days I spend wandering: wondering what, anyway, was that sticky infusion, that rank flavor of blood, that poetry, by which I lived? — Galway Kinnell

Like a piece of ice on a hot stove the poem must ride on its own melting. — Robert Frost

People Writing About Reading Poetry

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Name Quotes Likes
Read quotes by David Bowie

David Bowie
quotes on life, creativity and love

465 18186
Read quotes by Peter J. Daniels

Peter J. Daniels

10 56
Read quotes by Robert A. Heinlein

Robert A. Heinlein
quotes on democracy

658 4815
Read quotes by Anthony Hope

Anthony Hope
quotes on love, religion and religion and politics

15 66
Read quotes by Paul Engle

Paul Engle
quotes on leadership, love and faith

20 81
Read quotes by Carol Ann Duffy

Carol Ann Duffy
quotes on feminism, love

39 169

More 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

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

The useless days will add up to something. The shitty waitressing jobs. The hours writing in your journal. The long meandering walks. The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and dead people’s diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not. These things are your becoming. — Cheryl Strayed

We pass the word around; we ponder how the case is put by different people, we read the poetry; we meditate over the literature; we play the music; we change our minds; we reach an understanding. Society evolves this way, not by shouting each other down, but by the unique capacity of unique, individual human beings to comprehend each other. — Lewis Thomas

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

To feel most beautifully alive means to be reading something beautiful, ready always to apprehend in the flow of language the sudden flash of poetry. — Gaston Bachelard

If every head of state and every government official spent an hour a day reading poetry we'd live in a much more humane and decent world. — Mark Strand

Poetry is not the most important thing in life... I'd much rather lie in a hot bath reading Agatha Christie and sucking sweets. — Dylan Thomas

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? — Emily Dickinson

The masters of information have forgotten about poetry, where words may have a meaning quite different from what the lexicon says, where the metaphoric spark is always one jump ahead of the decoding function, where another, unforeseen reading is always possible. — J. M. Coetzee

My mother - my stepmother, really, she herself have been what they call an elocutionist. And she was the one who first encouraged me to write poetry, because she used to read it to us. And then when I began to write when I was nine years old, my first poem was published in the Amsterdam News. I called it "The Graveyard." — Ruby Dee

The ladies men admire, I've heard, Would shudder at a wicked word. Their candle gives a single light, They'd rather stay at home at night. They do not keep awake 'till three, Nor read erotic poetry. They never sanction the impure, Nor recognize an overture. They shrink from powders and from paints... So far I've had no complaints. — Dorothy Parker

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

But I am not political in the current events sense, and I have never wanted anyone to read my poetry that way. — Diane Wakoski

I read, read enormously on all different fields of Islamic thought, from philosophy to Islamic literature, poetry, exegeses, knowledge of the Hadith, the teachings of the prophet. That's how I trained myself. And then I was appointed imam by a Sufi master from Istanbul, Turkey. — Feisal Abdul Rauf

She wished she had a little yellow house of her own, with a flower box full of real flowers and herbs – pansies and rosemary – and a sweet lover who would swing dance with her in the evenings and cook pasta and read poetry aloud. — Francesca Lia Block

I'm a professional and I'll do anything - a poetry reading, television, cinema, anything that allows me to act. — Peter O'Toole

There has been a vast output of critical studies in contemporary poetry, some of them first rate, but I do not think that , as a rule, a poet should read them. — W. H. Auden

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

Sexual activity is driven by the same aims and motives as reading poetry or listening to music: to escape the limitations imposed by the need for particularity in the consciousness. — Colin Wilson

Organized religion is sane and not silly when read as myth and poetry rather than science and law. Religion speaks nonsense when taken literally, but reveals some of the deepest truths of humankind when understood mythically, poetically, and even allegorically-that is when it is read with an active and creative imagination. — Rami M. Shapiro

I was reading the poems of Rochester. Rochester made himself out to be bisexual, but I think that was only to shock. Most of his poetry is sexual, even pornographic. — Thom Gunn

I grew up in the spoken-word community. Before everybody had a home studio, or before we could get booked for shows, open mics were the only way to be heard by other people. It really gave me a chance to develop as a performer. Reading a piece of poetry with no beat in front of 20 people is way more challenging than rocking for 10,000 people. — Macklemore

There are men who can write poetry, and there are men who can read balance sheets. The men who can read balance sheets cannot write. — Henry R. Luce

Anticipating that most poetry will be worse than carrying heavy luggage through O'Hare Airport, the public, to its loss, reads very little of it. — Russell Baker

An underestimated element in poetry, that reading aloud makes clear, is the pause. I mean especially the force of a pause or a couple of pauses close together, contrasted with a longer unit of grammar. — Robert Pinsky

For a lot of people, poetry tends to be dull. It's not read much. It takes a special kind of training and a lot of practice to read poetry with pleasure. It's like learning to like asparagus. — Thomas M. Disch

Wasn't it his right to listen to opera, read poetry and adventure novels, go to Europe every couple of months for some reason or another, and drive his Porsche over the speed limit until he found out who he was? — Anne Rice

In Conclusion

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