Famous Poets Quotations - Top 30 Poetry Quotations by Famous Poets

  • "For this reason poetry is something more philosophical and more worthy of serious attention than history."
    -- Aristotle

  • "Every American poet feels that the whole responsibility for contemporary poetry has fallen upon his shoulders, that he is a literary aristocracy of one."
    -- W. H. Auden

  • "Eloquence is the poetry of prose."
    -- William C. Bryant

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

  • "How poetry comes to the poet is a mystery."
    -- Elizabeth Drew

  • "She opened up a book of poems and handed it to me written by an Italian poet from the 13th century and every one of them words rang true and glowed like burning coal pouring off of every page like it was written in my soul from me to you."
    -- Bob Dylan

  • "When a poet's mind is perfectly equipped for its work, it is constantly amalgamating disparate experiences."
    -- T S Eliot

  • "Painting was called silent poetry and poetry speaking painting."
    -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • "Only poetry inspires poetry."
    -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • "Poetry is a way of taking life by the throat."
    -- Robert Frost

  • "The man is either mad, or he is making verses."
    -- Horace

  • "Good religious poetry . . . is likely to be most justly appreciated and most discriminately relished by the undevout."
    -- A. E. Housman

  • "I did not believe political directives could be successfully applied to creative writing . . . not to poetry or fiction, which to be valid had to express as truthfully as possible the individual emotions and reactions of the writer."
    -- Langston Hughes

  • "I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged . . . I had poems which were re-written so many times I suspect it was just a way of avoiding sending them out."
    -- Erica Jong

  • "As I am a poet I express what I believe, and I fight against whatever I oppose, in poetry."
    -- June Jordan

  • "Poetry, even when apparently most fantastic, is always a revolt against artifice, a revolt, in a sense, against actuality."
    -- James Joyce

  • "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

  • "Conventional wisdom notwithstanding, there is no reason either in football or in poetry why the two should not meet in a man's life if he has the weight and cares about the words."
    -- Archibald MacLeish

  • "I see no reason for calling my work poetry except that there is no other category in which to put it."
    -- Marianne Moore

  • "I've never read a political poem that's accomplished anything. Poetry makes things happen, but rarely what the poet wants."
    -- Howard Nemerov

  • "And he whose fustian's so sublimely bad/ It is not poetry, but prose run mad."
    -- Alexander Pope

  • "I have written some poetry that I don't understand myself."
    -- Carl Sandburg

  • "Poetry is the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds."
    -- Percy Bysshe Shelley

  • "Great poetry is always written by somebody straining to go beyond what he can do."
    -- Stephen Spender

  • "I owe everything to a system that made me learn by heart till I wept. As a result I have thousands of lines of poetry by heart. I owe everything to this."
    -- George Steiner

  • "Everything is complicated; if that we not so, life and poetry and everything else would be a bore."
    -- Wallace Stevens

  • "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

  • "How do poems grow? They grow out of your life."
    -- Robert Penn Warren

  • "All good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity."
    -- William Wordsworth

  • "A poet's autobiography is his poetry. Anything else can be only a footnote."
    -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

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