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:

    The Guardian

    Simon Armitage: Making poetry pay
    The Guardian
    “I know other poets who work on poems as exploration, but I've usually got a destination in mind. I knew in that poem I wanted to end up in Sainsbury's supermarket” – a slight pause, as the audience guffawed – “it was just a question of getting back ...

    The Guardian

    Wole Soyinka dismisses claims he is too grand and old for Oxford poetry chair
    The Guardian
    Bragg, who had previously backed the Nigerian poet to be the next Oxford chair of poetry, told the Sunday Times he was switching his allegiance to Simon Armitage, saying he was concerned 80-year-old Soyinka would not “bother to come to Oxford” were he ...
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    The Poetry of Raymond Carver Makes a Leap to E-Books
    New York Times
    In September, Vintage will publish a digital edition of “Beginners,” the unedited, uncut manuscript of his 1981 collection, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.” The unedited collection caused a stir when Mr. Carver's widow, the poet Tess ...


    This Iwo Jima veteran's moving poetry will help you understand Memorial Day
    Gradually, he turned to poetry to give voice to his pain. And at 92, the World War II veteran has joined a writing group with veterans of all wars — Vietnam, Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan -- at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia ...

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    Huffington Post

    Perambulatory Poetry: James McMurty's "Complicated Game"
    Huffington Post
    Perhaps the true journey of discovery consists not in seeking different landscapes, but in having new eyes. James McMurtry's new eyes routinely fill notebook and notebook with scenes, characters, ideas, hopes, and disappointments. For three decades, he ...

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    Opinionator | Poetry Kept My Patient Alive
    New York Times (blog)
    Steve, my patient, fancied himself a poet, first and foremost. Brilliant, yet sadly bedeviled by schizoaffective disorder — a condition somewhere between schizophrenia and bipolar — he feared he would die before his gift was discovered. “I think I'm ...

    Pacifica Tribune

    Poets asked to submit their poetry
    Pacifica Tribune
    A call is going out to poets who live within the nine counties of the San Francisco Bay Area (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma) to submit their poetry for the Poetry on the Devil's Slide Ride ...

    and more »

    The Hindu

    Poetry as inappropriate response to brutishness
    The Hindu
    It's a hot Delhi morning when I walk past the security guards at Varun Gandhi's home but inside the large sitting room, done up in old-fashioned tones of opulence, it is cool and quiet. A brilliant M.F. Husain portrait of Mr. Gandhi with his mother ...

    and more »

    Montgomery Advertiser

    Al Benn's Alabama: Poetry inspires Selma's Ingram
    Montgomery Advertiser
    SELMA – Poetry isn't for everybody, but it means everything to Gail Box Ingram who rarely allows a day to pass without a new poem to write, recite and savor. As a young girl she'd put descriptive words together, making sure they rhymed most of the time.

    Indian Country Today Media Network

    Beats and Poetry: Gyasi Ross Discusses 'ISSKOOTSIK (Before Here Was Here)'
    Indian Country Today Media Network
    The album is a hip hop based collection of stories and spoken word poetry about Native American culture and history, which range from musical tributes that honor activists Marlon Brando and Winona LaDuke, to a guest appearance by Abiodun Oyewole of ...

    Google News
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    Top 20 Poetry Quotations

    Explore the meaning of poetry and the motivation of poets... Read More

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    Two Poems and a Short Story

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    She raised me like I was her own daughter from... Read More

    Cruel World

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    To My Friend, With Love

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