Poetry Quotes

Not the poem which we have read, but that to which we return, with the greatest pleasure, possesses the genuine power, and claims the name of essential poetry.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Poetry is certainly something more than good sense, but it must be good sense at all events; just as a palace is more than a house, but it must be a house, at least.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The book of Job is pure Arab poetry of the highest and most antique cast.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The land is like poetry: it is inexplicably coherent, it is transcendent in its meaning, and it has the power to elevate a consideration of human life.

Barry Lopez

Conservatism makes no poetry, breathes no prayer, has no invention; it is all memory. Reform has no gratitude, no prudence, no husbandry. The Conservative.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Poetry being the sign of that which all men desire, even though the desire be unconscious, intensity of life or completeness of experience, the universality of its appeal is a matter of course.

John Drinkwater

We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry.

William Butler Yeats

a man who sold meat but knew nothing of the poetry of the slaughterhouse. Ted Arden was no ice-cream butcher.

Anthony Burgess

slang the home-made language of the ruled, not the rulers, the acted upon, the used, the used up. It is demotic poetry emerging in flashes of ironic insight.

Anthony Burgess

Serious poetry deals with the fundamental conflicts that cannot be logically resolved: we can state the conflicts rationally, but reason does not relieve us of them.

Allen Tate

Poetry should surprise by a fine excess and not by singularity, it should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance.

John Keats

Poetry operates by hints and dark suggestions. It is full of secrets and hidden formulae, like a witch's brew.

Anthony Hecht

The poetry of heroism appeals irresistibly to those who don't go to a war, and even more to those whom the war is making enormously wealthy. It's always so.

Louis-Ferdinand Celine

In politics, as in poetry, it is sometimes true that it is darkest before dawn.

Larry Summers

Among the American contemporaries I read with most enjoyment are several North Carolinians. I think the best poetry being written these days is being written by Southerners.

Robert Morgan
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