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 - http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art8364.a sp

    In The News:


    Bellingham Herald

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    Bellingham Herald
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    New poetry by area poets to be featured on LCTA buses
    Wilkes Barre Times-Leader
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    Salt Lake Tribune
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    The Guardian

    Imtiaz Dharker awarded Queen's gold medal for poetry
    The Guardian
    She added: “Hers is a unique perspective and an essential voice in the diversity of English-language poetry. It is a moral force – a force for good and a force for change – that refuses to see the world as anything less personal than an extended ...

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    Birmingham's Poetry Front
    Redbrick
    Titled “Level Up”, this open mic night, held at Birmingham's very own repertory theatre (The REP – connected to the main library), slots nine open mic performances, an upcoming local talent and an established poet in the space of two hours with an ...


    Valdosta Daily Times

    Literary Guild rejoices in poetry
    Valdosta Daily Times
    Collins, professor of poetry at Harvard, suggests that quiet reflection in solitude can also enrich one's appreciation of everyday events. In a poem titled “Introduction to Poetry, he bemoans the fact that students do not enjoy the total effect that ...


    Poetry: Diagnosis (after Raymond Carver)
    Irish Independent
    She has been published in a number of journals and is currently working towards a poetry collection, Camellia. She also writes plays and short fiction. A long-time resident of Cois Fharraige, Connemara, she enjoys solitary walks on bog and shore.


    The Globe and Mail

    The latest in poetry: Ken Babstock's meditations on surveillance and ...
    The Globe and Mail
    The first section of Ken Babstock's newest collection, On Malice, is called SIGINT. It's a sequence of jagged sonnets that “occur,” according to Babstock's notes, in an abandoned NSA surveillance station sitting atop a man-made mountain of “massive ...

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    Running on poetry: advertising our importance
    The Hindu
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    Poetry Podcast: Stephen Burt Reads Liz Waldner
    The New Yorker
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