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 :: Famous Quotations Topic: Poetry and Poets (140 Quotations)

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Every old poem is sacred.
~ Horace

 

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Good poetry seems too simple and natural a thing that when we meet it we wonder that all men are not always poets. Poetry is nothing but healthy speech.
~ Henry David Thoreau

 

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Here undoubtedly lies the chief poetic energy: --in the force of imagination that pierces or exalts the solid fact, instead of floating among cloud-pictures.
~ George Eliot

 

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Homer has taught all other poets the are of telling lies skillfully.
~ Aristotle

 

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I by no means rank poetry high in the scale of intelligence --this may look like affectation but it is my real opinion. It is the lava of the imagination whose eruption prevents an earthquake.
~ Lord Byron

 

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I cannot accept the doctrine that in poetry there is a ''suspension of belief.'' A poet must never make a statement simply because it is sounds poetically exciting; he must also believe it to be true.
~ W. H. Auden

 

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I don't know a better preparation for life than a love of poetry and a good digestion.
~ Zona Gale

 

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I have a new method of poetry. All you got to do is look over your notebooks... or lay down on a couch, and think of anything that comes into your head, especially the miseries. Then arrange in lines of two, three or four words each, don't bother about sentences, in sections of two, three or four lines each.
~ Allen Ginsberg

 

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I have written some poetry that I don't understand myself.
~ Carl Sandburg

 

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I take as metaphysical poetry that in which what is ordinarily apprehensible only by thought is brought within the grasp of feeling, or that in which what is ordinarily only felt is transformed into thought without ceasing to be feeling.
~ T. S. Eliot

 

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I wish our clever young poets would remember my homely definitions of prose and poetry; that is, prose = words in their best order; --poetry = the best words in the best order.
~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

 

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I would as soon write free verse as play tennis with the net down.
~ Robert Frost

 

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I would define the poetic effect as the capacity that a text displays for continuing to generate different readings, without ever being completely consumed.
~ Umberto Eco

 

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I've read some of your modern free verse and wonder who set it free.
~ John Barrymore

 

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If a poet has any obligation toward society, it is to write well. Being in the minority, he has no other choice. Failing this duty, he sinks into oblivion. Society, on the other hand, has no obligation toward the poet. A majority by definition, society thinks of itself as having other options than reading verses, no matter how well written. Its failure to do so results in its sinking to that level of locution at which society falls easy prey to a demagogue or a tyrant. This is society's own equivalent of oblivion.
~ Joseph Brodsky

 

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If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.
~ Emily Dickinson

 

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If there's no money in poetry, neither is there poetry in money.
~ Robert Graves

 

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Immature poets imitate, mature poets steal.
~ Philip Massinger

 

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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.
~ Franz Kafka

 

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In the works of the better poets you get the sensation that they're not talking to people any more, or to some seraphical creature. What they're doing is simply talking back to the language itself --as beauty, sensuality, wisdom, irony --those aspects of language of which the poet is a clear mirror. Poetry is not an art or a branch of art, it's something more. If what distinguishes us from other species is speech, then poetry, which is the supreme linguistic operation, is our anthropological, indeed genetic, goal. Anyone who regards poetry as an entertainment, as a ''read,'' commits an anthropological crime, in the first place, against himself.
~ Joseph Brodsky

 

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