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:

    Bellingham Herald

    Hope releases his first book of poetry
    Bellingham Herald
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    New poetry by area poets to be featured on LCTA buses
    Wilkes Barre Times-Leader
    New works of poetry and accompanying photography, displayed on placards normally used for advertising, are once again being placed inside Luzerne County Transportation Authority buses for the 2014-2015 edition of the Poetry in Transit initiative.

    Review: 'This Bird of Dawning' illuminates Christmas story with music, dance ...
    Salt Lake Tribune
    The performance uses dance, pantomime, and an eclectic selection of poetry and music to tell the Christmas story. The title comes from Shakespeare's "Hamlet," but several of the poems are local. Since the story begins with the Magi setting out to find ...

    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
    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
    In Polish poet Wisława Szymborska's poem, Advertisement, the poet talks about the merits of prescription medicine. She seems to sell it to us when she says, “I know how to handle misfortune/how to take bad news/I can minimize injustice/lighten up God's ...

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    Poetry Podcast: Stephen Burt Reads Liz Waldner
    The New Yorker
    In this week's episode of the poetry podcast, which concludes the first year of the series, Stephen Burt reads “Sad Verso of the Sunny ____,” by Liz Waldner, which was published in The New Yorker in 2009. The poem—in which the speaker recalls a ritual ...

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    Google News
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    Memoirs of a Wastelands Rim [a Poem: now in Spanish and English]

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    Lamenting Poetic Moods [six Poems]

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    Biography of Charlotte Bronte

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

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    Elizabeth Barrett Browning: A Discussion of How Do I Love Thee?

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    Two Poems: Black Poncho, and Spirits of de Copan [in English and Spanish]

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    Birthday Messages


    Daybreak at Pikes Creek [a Poem]

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    Three Poems: Dona Leonors Revenge; The Old Moon; Common Sides [All in Spanish/all in English]

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    What's a prisoner to do when justice fails and... Read More

    Song of the Great Zimbabwe, and Silver and Inca Blood [Poems and notes]

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    Black Blood, in Jeremiahs Vines - A Poem and an Article

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    Rhymes of an Ordnance Man [Vietnam War: 1971]

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    Africa - Wheres The Profit?

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    Grandpas House & From Iraq with Love [Two Poems]

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