Top 20 Poetry Quotations

Explore the meaning of poetry and the motivation of poets with this special collection of evocative quotations...

  • "A poet is someone who is astonished by everything."
    -- Anonymous

  • "Reality only reveals itself when it is illuminated by a ray of poetry."
    -- Georges Brague

  • "The poet doesn't invent. He listens. "
    --Jean Cocteau

  • " In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite."
    -- Paul Dirac

  • " Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood."
    -- T. S. Eliot

  • "The adventitious beauty of poetry may be felt in the greater delight with a verse given in a happy quotation than in the poem."
    -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • " There is not a particle of life which does not bear poetry within it."
    -- Gustave Flaubert

  • "A poem begins with a lump in the throat. "
    --Robert Frost

  • " Poetry is the language in which man explores his own amazement."
    -- Christopher Fry

  • " There's no money in poetry, but there's no poetry in money, either."
    -- Robert Ranke Graves

  • " Poetry is to hold judgment on your soul."
    -- Henrik Ibsen

  • " When power narrows the areas of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses."
    -- John F. Kennedy

  • "Perhaps no person can be a poet, or can even enjoy poetry, without a certain unsoundness of mind."
    --Thomas Babington Macaulay

  • "The poem is the point at which our strength gave out. "
    --Richard Rosen

  • " Science is for those who learn; poetry, for those who know."
    -- Joseph Roux

  • "Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world. "
    --Percy Byshe Shelley

  • "Wanted: a needle swift enough to sew this poem into a blanket. "
    --Charles Simic

  • "A poem is never finished, only abandoned. "
    --Paul Valry

  • " Poetry is the music of the soul, and, above all, of great and feeling souls."
    -- Voltaire

  • "Poetry is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge."
    -- William Wordsworth

    Resource Box - Danielle Hollister (2004) is the Publisher of BellaOnline Quotations Zine - A free newsletter for quote lovers featuring more than 10,000 quotations in dozens of categories like - love, friendship, children, inspiration, success, wisdom, family, life, and many more. Read it online at - sp

    In The News:

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    Fond du Lac Reporter

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    Fond du Lac Reporter
    Mary Wehner is known in Fond du Lac for her enthusiasm in the arts community. A poet, painter and jazz enthusiast, she has lent her hand to many organizations both local and state-wide, and has worked in a variety of fields. “I think sometimes that I ...

    Alexander Weiss, ranger who preserved Angel Island poetry, dies
    He learned that the walls were covered with poetry written in Chinese and Japanese by would-be immigrants and started an effort to preserve them. Mr. Weiss was characteristically modest about his effort. “I just started the engine,'' he said. “Others ...

    Down Syndrome: Poetry, Painting, Perspective
    Huffington Post
    At the poetry site I manage, we have delved into the beauty of the eyes of those who live with Down syndrome--not the literal eyes, but the ways of seeing. It is a hard beauty at times, a poetry of injury. Overall, we are not trying to definitively ...


    In Washington, Poetry Diplomacy With Iran
    In an October 23 keynote speech on the status of nuclear negotiations with Iran, U.S. chief nuclear negotiator Wendy Sherman cited a verse by the great Persian poet Saadi. “Have patience; all things are difficult before they become easy,” Sherman, U.S. ...

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    The Hindu

    Poetry beyond punctuation
    The Hindu
    The title of this week's article might have led you to the prolific prodigy that is E.E.Cummings. Here is a modern poet at the heights of his power- shunning syntax and punctuation and using language to his heart's content, thus creating a mind ...

    The Brown Daily Herald

    Adulthood and youth collide in prof.'s poetry collection
    The Brown Daily Herald
    Howe, who read from her works with novelist Bradford Morrow Thursday in the McCormack Family Theater, has written more than 20 books of poetry, fiction and essays and has received a host of accolades from organizations like the National Endowment for ...

    Daily Californian

    Poetry deserves an A+
    Silver Chips Online
    As Common Core is coming into classrooms and poetry is moving out, verse is leaving behind a small and underappreciated legacy in high schools. There is a lack of poetry instruction in current curricula and a widespread distaste for it from students.
    Ed Roberson, UC Berkeley's poet-in-residenceDaily Californian
    Dylan Thomas: a poet unlike any otherFinancial Times

    all 3 news articles »

    Russian poetry lover gets 8 years for murder of prose fan
    "During the drinking, the two men began an argument over which literary genre is more important, poetry or prose," said a spokesman for the regional investigative committee. "The owner of the home argued that prose is the real literature, while his ...

    National Post

    Michael Lista, On Poetry: Don McKay's Angular Unconformity
    National Post
    Much of Canadian poetry finds its origins in Birding, or desire: a streetwise, rapid-fire vernacular, intertextuality (The Birds of Canada ever within reach), environmentalism and Bach. “Close-Up on a Sharp-Shinned Hawk,” which has aged better than ...

    Google News
  • Two Poems and a Short Story

    1)dying in the bar [sluggishly]yet, I would crawl too upto... Read More

    House of the Goblin [Part Two of Three/with notes]

    House of the Goblin [Part Two of Three]Here is where,... Read More

    Two Poems: Boyhood, and Old Age [with a note on style]

    BoyhoodOh me! Thy glorious days have flown! I mealy noticed,... Read More

    Sleep, Dreams, and a Poem

    The Incubus' Flash-lightHe looked inside my head And found a... Read More

    Three Poems: The Monkey Man of Lima, Plus Two More

    What Hides behind the Minute?What hides behind the minute? It... Read More

    Ode To Quetzalcoatal [Now in Spanish and English]

    Ode to QuetzalcatlQuetzalcatl the GreatNo one knew his true name,... Read More

    Africa - Wheres The Profit?

    A poetic comment that just welled up inside my head... Read More

    The Exit Poems [Iron and Fire & No Heroes]

    The Exit Poems [And Socrates]Iron and FireIron can be... Read More

    Lima, City with the Stretched out Wings [In English and Spanish]

    Lima, City with the Stretched out WingsIt's an ink-black... Read More

    Learn About Love From Poet Rumi

    Learn about love by reading poetry by a long dead... Read More

    Preserving Dignity

    No one should have to beg or crawl before humanity.... Read More

    Burning Autumn Leaves [a poem in Spanish and English]

    Burning Autumn Leaves [1950s in St. Paul, Minnesota]My long steel... Read More

    I Saw the Universe

    I can see the cerulean blue of the skiesOr the... Read More


    JOINEDHeart beat of man pounding - yet unheard joined... Read More

    The Gaul of La Laguna de Paca

    Part OneI tell you a legend of long ago Of... Read More

    The Merchant of Copan [In English and Spanish]

    English VersionThe Merchant of Copan [480 AD]Advance: The ballgame at... Read More

    Three Poems (While in Transition/English and Spanish)

    Here are three more poems by the author, Dennis Siluk,... Read More

    Two Poems with Triggers [and a commentary]

    So Many Einstein'sThe morning mist, insists there is a God.... Read More

    Rules for Writing Poetry

    You've been writing poetry since that first assignment in your... Read More

    A Hundred and Fifty Dead [Korean War--l952]

    There I sat, ninety-five degree weatherOutside; the bookstore caf, was... Read More

    Banana Republic

    Like a cat I slumber, blissfully unencumbered, Through eighty per... Read More

    Exalted Poetry; Two poem [and commentary]

    Bells for Belphegor!...Where immortal veils never meet Belphegor, Arch devil... Read More

    The Valley Of Pain

    We were exiled from the Garden of Eden. Its... Read More

    Commuting Hell!

    It's dark, it's cold, its' just six thirty,thoughts of sleep... Read More

    Death & the Supernatural: Poetry/Five Poems

    Supernatural PoetryHere are five poems,-what I call-death and supernatural poems.... Read More