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 Valéry

  • " 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:


    NPR

    Open A Critic's 'Poetry Notebook' And Find The Works That Shaped Him
    NPR
    What those famous lines don't reveal about James is his erudition, lightly worn but very much on display in his latest book of criticism, called Poetry Notebook. In his introduction, James says that, for him, poetry has been "the occupation of a lifetime.

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    NPR (blog)

    A Teacher's Moment: Finding 'The Essence Of Poetry'
    NPR (blog)
    I'm not sure what is at the root of their inability to connect, but being able to work together is the most crucial element of hosting our annual Poetry Nights. These are a big deal at Combs High School, and the seniors in this class plan and organize ...

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    The Daily Collegian Online

    Spoken poetry movement at Penn State
    The Daily Collegian Online
    For the past couple of months, there have been multiple spoken poetry events and spoken artists that have been popping up on the Penn State campus, which leads to the thought — is there a spoken poetry movement happening at Penn State?


    SFGate (blog)

    “Read This Poem” project to usher in National Poetry Month
    SFGate (blog)
    This April, the Academy of American Poets — the founder of National Poetry Month — is partnering with 826 Valencia to highlight the work of regional poets. In return, the poets will share their talents with students. San Francisco's Dean Rader has ...


    Huffington Post

    2015 Poetry Month: An Interview With T. R. Hummer
    Huffington Post
    T. R. Hummer is a poet, critic, essayist and the author of over ten books of poetry. He teaches at Arizona State University. You've published Ephemeron in 2012, Skandalon in 2014 and will soon publish Eon. What is the story behind the names for this ...


    The Guardian

    Hollie Poetry: woman versus world – one poem at a time
    The Guardian
    Long before she quit her day job and adopted the stage name Hollie Poetry, Hollie McNish was scribbling poems on whatever surface she could find. She started at the age of four, and when we meet she is clutching a folder full of her teenage work. “They ...
    AT THE LIBRARY: Library celebrates poetry monthRapid City Journal

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    UNM poets take home kudos in slam
    UNM Daily Lobo
    After months of preparation and an intense competition, three UNM students and one UNM professor earned four of the five top positions on the 2015 Grand Slam team. After pouring their hearts and souls out for the audience, the new team members were ...


    MiamiHerald.com

    An ode to your ZIP code kicks off O, Miami's poetry festival
    MiamiHerald.com
    Fernandez wrote her poem for ZIP Odes, a collaboration between WLRN and O, Miami, the poetry festival now in its fourth year. The poem's form is simple: A Haiku-like poem built around your ZIP code. The number of words per line and the number of lines ...

    and more »

    Rutgers-Camden NewsNow

    Rutgers–Camden to Host Second Annual Louder Than a Bomb–Camden Poetry ...
    Rutgers-Camden NewsNow
    Rutgers University–Camden will once again set the stage for a playoff-type atmosphere as more than 100 students from Burlington, Camden, and Hudson counties square off in the Louder Than a Bomb–Camden poetry slam from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday ...

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    Poetry Everywhere, and They Mean Everywhere, in Miami Festival
    New York Times (blog)
    On April 1 the organizers of the O, Miami Poetry Festival begin their annual monthlong campaign to put a poem in front of all 2.6 million residents of Miami-Dade County. “Miamians should watch out for poems on buildings, on fences, in the mail, even in ...

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