I did not know that the rules about these things were different if you were female. I did not know that "poetess" was an insult, and that I myself would some day be called one. I did not know that to be told I had transcended my gender would be considered a compliment. I didn't know yet that black was compulsory. All of that was in the future. When I was sixteen, it was simple. Poetry existed; therefore it could be written; and nobody had told me yet the many, many reasons why it could not be written by me.
The day I became a poet was a sunny day of no particular ominousness. I was walking across the football field, not because I was sports-minded or had plans to smoke a cigarette behind the field house the only other reason for going there but because this was my normal way home from school. I was scuttling along in my usual furtive way, suspecting no ill, when a large invisible thumb descended from the sky and pressed down on the top of my head. A poem formed. It was quite a gloomy poem: the poems of the young usually are. It was a gift, this poem a gift from an anonymous donor, and, as such, both exciting and sinister at the same time. I suspect this is the way all poets begin writing poetry, only they don't want to admit it, so they make up more rational explanations. But this is the true explanation, and I defy anyone to disprove it.
"Thinking is seeing," said he one day, carried away by some objection raised as to the first principles of our organisation."Every human science is based on deduction, which is a slow process of seeing by which we work up from the effect to the cause; or, in a wider sense, all poetry like every work of art proceeds from a swift vision of things."
Twenty years ago no one could have imagined the effects the Internet would have: entire relationships flourish, friendships prospertheres a vast new intimacy and accidental poetry, not to mention the weirdest porn. The entire human experience seems to unveil itself like the surface of a new planet.
We may have an excellent Ear in Musick, without being able to perform in any kind. We may judg well of Poetry, without being Poets, or possessing the least of a Poetick Vein: But we can have no tolerable Notion of Goodness, without being tolerably good.
It is at once by way of poetry and through poetry, as with music, that the soul glimpses splendors from beyond the tomb; and when an exquisite poem brings ones eyes to the point of tears, those tears are not evidence of an excess of joy, they are witness far more to an exacerbated melancholy, a disposition of the nerves, a nature exiled among imperfect things, which would like to possess, without delay, a paradise revealed on this very same earth.
If music and sweet poetry agree.
As they must needs (the sister and the brother),
Then must the love be great 'twixt thee and me,
Because thou lov'st the one, and I the other.
For the purposes of poetry a convincing impossibility is preferable to an unconvincing possibility.
Poetry demands a man with a special gift for it, or else one with a touch of madness in him.
Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history; for poetry expresses the universal, and history only the particular.
It is important, therefore, to hold fast to this: that poetry is at bottom a criticism of life; that the greatness of a poet lies in his powerful and beautiful application of ideas to life to the question: How to live.
The best poetry will be found to have a power of forming, sustaining, and delighting us, as nothing else can.
Poetry is simply the most beautiful, impressive and wisely effective mode of saying things, and hence its importance.
The grand style arises in poetry, when a noble nature, poetically gifted, treats with simplicity or with severity a serious subject.
For poetry the idea is everything; the rest is a world of illusion, of divine illusion. Poetry attaches its emotion to the idea; the idea is the fact. The strongest part of our religion today is its unconscious poetry.
On all levels of life and as each day unfolds, respect for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. grows impressively, and the essence of this respect is the fact that he had deeper insights than most of us have appreciated. It is not mere poetry to call him prophetic. The accuracy of his prophecies is almost uncanny.
By the early 1950's history had endowed him with a sense of the precise moment that Black people were ready for mass action, ready for its risks, and ready for its responsibilities.
Poetry will never win the war on terror
But neither will error abetted by error
We girly men are not afraid
Of uncertainty or reason or interdependence
We think before we fight, then think some more
Proclaim our faith in listening, in art, in compromise
So be a girly man
& sing this gurly song
Sissies & proud
That we would never lie our way to war
As part of the spring ritual of National Poetry Month, poets are symbolically dragged into the public square in order to be humiliated with the claim that their product has not achieved sufficient market penetration and must be revived by the Artificial Resuscitation Foundation (ARF) lest the art form collapse from its own incompetence, irrelevance, and as a result of the general disinterest among the broad masses of the American People. The motto of ARF's National Poetry Month is: "Poetry's not so bad, really."
He who writes poetry is not a poet. He whose poetry has become his life, and who has made his life his poetry it is he who is a poet.
I know quite clearly what I want out of my life. Life and my emotions are the only things I am conscious of. I love the consciousness of life and I want as much of it as I can get. But the span of one's life is limited. What comes after death no one knows. Nor do I care. Since, therefore, I cannot increase the content of life by increasing its duration, I will increase it by increasing its intensity. Art, music, poetry and everything else I do have this one purpose increasing the intensity of my consciousness of life.
Topography is one of my chief themes in my poetry..about the country,the suburbs and the seaside...then there come's love..and increasingly; the fear of death.
Hymns are the poetry of the people.
As for types like my own, obscurely motivated by the conviction that our existence was worthless if we didnt make a turning point of it, we were assigned to the humanities, to poetry, philosophy, painting the nursery games of humankind, which had to be left behind when the age of science began. The humanities would be called upon to choose a wallpaper for the crypt, as the end drew near.
Poetry can be written only because it has been written.
Prose is when all the lines except the last go on to the end. Poetry is when some of them fall short of it.