Best Quotes About Poetry

I have nothing to say, I am saying it, and that is poetry. -John Cage

Any healthy man can go without food for two days – but not without poetry. -Charles Baudelaire

The true spirit of delight, the exaltation, the sense of being more than Man, which is the touchstone of the highest excellence, is to be found in mathematics as surely as poetry. -Bertrand Russell

The flower is the poetry of reproduction. It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life. -Jean Giraudoux

Breathe-in experience, breathe-out poetry. -Muriel Rukeyser

The cliche is dead poetry. -Gerald Brenan

The trouble with us in America isn't that the poetry of life has turned to prose, but that it has turned to advertising copy. -Louis Kronenberger

I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself than this incessant business. -Henry David Thoreau

The gross heathenism of civilization has generally destroyed nature, and poetry, and all that is spiritual. -John Muir

It takes most men five years to recover from a college education, and to learn that poetry is as vital to thinking as knowledge. -Brooks Atkinson

Marriage – a book of which the first chapter is written in poetry and the remaining chapters in prose. -Beverley Nichols

Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas. -Albert Einstein

There's no money in poetry, but then there's no poetry in money, either. -Robert Graves

The poetry of the earth is never dead. -John Keats

Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. -Leonard Cohen

He who draws noble delights from sentiments of poetry is a true poet, though he has never written a line in all his life. -George Sand

There is poetry as soon as we realize that we possess nothing. -John Cage

Even when poetry has a meaning, as it usually has, it may be inadvisable to draw it out… Perfect understanding will sometimes almost extinguish pleasure. -A. E. Housman

You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some of it with you. -Joseph Joubert

I would define, in brief, the poetry of words as the rhythmical creation of Beauty. -Edgar Allan Poe

I've written some poetry I don't understand myself. -Carl Sandburg

There is something about poetry beyond prose logic, there is mystery in it, not to be explained but admired. -Edward Young

Lapped in poetry, wrapped in the picturesque, armed with logical sentences and inalienable words. -Anatole Broyard

You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose. -Mario Cuomo

She was the Judy Garland of American poetry. -James Dickey

As things are, and as fundamentally they must always be, poetry is not a career, but a mug's game. No honest poet can ever feel quite sure of the permanent value of what he has written: He may have wasted his time and messed up his life for nothing. -T. S. Eliot

The urge to write poetry is like having an itch. When the itch becomes annoying enough, you scratch it. -Robert Penn Warren

There may be more poetry than justice in poetic justice. -George Will

For poetry there exists neither large countries nor small. Its domain is in the heart of all men. -Giorgos Seferis

Lean your body forward slightly to support the guitar against your chest, for the poetry of the music should resound in your heart. -Andres Segovia

One difference between poetry and lyrics is that lyrics sort of fade into the background. They fade on the page and live on the stage when set to music. -Stephen Sondheim

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

Money is a kind of poetry. -Wallace Stevens

Most people read poetry listening for echoes because the echoes are familiar to them. They wade through it the way a boy wades through water, feeling with his toes for the bottom: The echoes are the bottom. -Wallace Stevens

When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. -John F. Kennedy

Music has a poetry of its own, and that poetry is called melody. -Joshua Logan

There are men who can write poetry, and there are men who can read balance sheets. The men who can read balance sheets cannot write. -Henry R. Luce

Journalism is concerned with events, poetry with feelings. Journalism is concerned with the look of the world, poetry with the feel of the world. -Archibald MacLeish

The crown of literature is poetry. -W. Somerset Maugham

I grew up in this town, my poetry was born between the hill and the river, it took its voice from the rain, and like the timber, it steeped itself in the forests. -Pablo Neruda

In the television age, the key distinction is between the candidate who can speak poetry and the one who can only speak prose. -Richard M. Nixon

If food is poetry, is not poetry also food? -Joyce Carol Oates

I come here to speak poetry. It will always be in the grass. It will also be necessary to bend down to hear it. It will always be too simple to be discussed in assemblies. -Boris Pasternak

Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. -Plutarch

The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world… to see clearly is poetry, prophecy and religion all in one. -John Ruskin

Deals are my art form. Other people paint beautifully on canvas or write wonderful poetry. I like making deals, preferably big deals. That's how I get my kicks. -Ed Koch

To feel most beautifully alive means to be reading something beautiful, ready always to apprehend in the flow of language the sudden flash of poetry. -John Holmes

A man of eighty has outlived probably three new schools of painting, two of architecture and poetry and a hundred in dress. -Lord Byron

If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry. -Emily Dickinson

The cloning of humans is on most of the lists of things to worry about from Science, along with behaviour control, genetic engineering, transplanted heads, computer poetry and the unrestrained growth of plastic flowers. -Lewis Thomas

All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling. -Oscar Wilde

Listen, real poetry doesn't say anything; it just ticks off the possibilities. Opens all doors. You can walk through any one that suits you. -Jim Morrison

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

A poet's autobiography is his poetry. Anything else is just a footnote. -Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood. -T. S. Eliot

Rap is poetry set to music. But to me it's like a jackhammer. -Bette Midler

The only thing that can save the world is the reclaiming of the awareness of the world. That's what poetry does. -Allen Ginsberg

I decided that it was not wisdom that enabled poets to write their poetry, but a kind of instinct or inspiration, such as you find in seers and prophets who deliver all their sublime messages without knowing in the least what they mean. -Socrates

Music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from the dance… poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from music. -Ezra Pound

A verbal art like poetry is reflective; it stops to think. Music is immediate, it goes on to become. -W. H. Auden

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

People wish to be poets more than they wish to write poetry, and that's a mistake. One should wish to celebrate more than one wishes to be celebrated. -Lucille Clifton

One merit of poetry few persons will deny: it says more and in fewer words than prose. -Voltaire

Before people complain of the obscurity of modern poetry, they should first examine their consciences and ask themselves with how many people and on how many occasions they have genuinely and profoundly shared some experience with another. -W. H. Auden

I gave up on new poetry myself 30 years ago when most of it began to read like coded messages passing between lonely aliens in a hostile world. -Russell Baker

Anticipating that most poetry will be worse than carrying heavy luggage through O'Hare Airport, the public, to its loss, reads very little of it. -Russell Baker

I don't look on poetry as closed works. I feel they're going on all the time in my head and I occasionally snip off a length. -John Ashbery

Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends. -Virginia Woolf

The same people who are murdered slowly in the mechanized slaughterhouses of work are also arguing, singing, drinking, dancing, making love, holding the streets, picking up weapons and inventing a new poetry. -Raoul Vaneigem

The office of poetry is not to make us think accurately, but feel truly. -Frederick William Robertson

Science is for those who learn, poetry is for those who know. -Joseph Roux

Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history; for poetry expresses the universal, and history only the particular. -Aristotle

Thinking in its lower grades, is comparable to paper money, and in its higher forms it is a kind of poetry. -Havelock Ellis

Personality is everything in art and poetry. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Superstition is the poetry of life. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Prose on certain occasions can bear a great deal of poetry; on the other hand, poetry sinks and swoons under a moderate weight of prose. -Walter Savage Landor

Nobody, I think, ought to read poetry, or look at pictures or statues, who cannot find a great deal more in them than the poet or artist has actually expressed. Their highest merit is suggestiveness. -Nathaniel Hawthorne

None but a poet can write a tragedy. For tragedy is nothing less than pain transmuted into exaltation by the alchemy of poetry. -Edith Hamilton

The poetry from the eighteenth century was prose; the prose from the seventeenth century was poetry. -David Hare

When superstition is allowed to perform the task of old age in dulling the human temperament, we can say goodbye to all excellence in poetry, in painting, and in music. -Denis Diderot

Wine is bottled poetry. -Robert Louis Stevenson

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

Teach your children poetry; it opens the mind, lends grace to wisdom and makes the heroic virtues hereditary. -Walter Scott

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

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

All slang is metaphor, and all metaphor is poetry. -Gilbert K. Chesterton

Writing a book of poetry is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo. -Don Marquis

Romance like a ghost escapes touching; it is always where you are not, not where you are. The interview or conversation was prose at the time, but it is poetry in the memory. -George William Curtis

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

The blood jet is poetry and there is no stopping it. -Sylvia Plath

With me poetry has not been a purpose, but a passion. -Edgar Allan Poe

I'm fascinated by rap and by hip-hop. I think there's a lot of poetry in it. There's a lot of anger, a lot of social energy in it. And I think you'd better listen to it pretty carefully, 'cause it's important. -John F. Kerry

What other people may find in poetry or art museums, I find in the flight of a good drive. -Arnold Palmer

The beauty, the poetry of the fear in their eyes. I didn't mind going to jail for, what, five, six hours? It was absolutely worth it. -Johnny Depp

In Australia, not reading poetry is the national pastime. -Phyllis McGinley

And New York is the most beautiful city in the world? It is not far from it. No urban night is like the night there… Squares after squares of flame, set up and cut into the aether. Here is our poetry, for we have pulled down the stars to our will. -Ezra Pound

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

We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry. -William Butler Yeats

If my poetry aims to achieve anything, it's to deliver people from the limited ways in which they see and feel. -Jim Morrison

Conversation may be compared to a lyre with seven chords – philosophy, art, poetry, love, scandal, and the weather. -Anna Jameson

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

Clarity, clarity, surely clarity is the most beautiful thing in the world, A limited, limiting clarity I have not and never did have any motive of poetry But to achieve clarity. -George Oppen

Science arose from poetry… when times change the two can meet again on a higher level as friends. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I was always making up rhymes. But I never thought that poetry would become my life. -Saul Williams

I want to branch out. I want to write. I write poetry. I want to see my children grow up well. -Annie Lennox

What is poetry which does not save nations or people? -Czeslaw Milosz

It all has to do with art – writing, painting, things I've done for a long time but just never had enough time to pursue. I have poetry – things that are designed for songs, but they're always poems first. -Jason Newsted

With Shakespeare and poetry, a new world was born. New dreams, new desires, a self consciousness was born. I desired to know to know myself in terms of the new standards set by these books. -Peter Abrahams

The whole thing about making films in an organic film on location is that it's not all about characters, relationships and themes, it's also about place and the poetry of place. It's about the spirit of what you find, the accidents of what you stumble across. -Mike Leigh

For me, poetry is always a search for order. -Elizabeth Jennings

The mystic purchases a moment of exhilaration with a lifetime of confusion; and the confusion is infectious and destructive. It is confusing and destructive to try and explain anything in terms of anything else, poetry in terms of psychology. -Basil Bunting

Some Marines made fun of the fact that I had done plays and studied poetry, but then I won the award for physical training. -David Hunt

The older I've got the less I find myself going back and re-reading or really reading new fiction or poetry. -Reynolds Price

I don't think Auden liked my poetry very much, he's very Anglican. -Stevie Smith

All poetry has to do is to make a strong communication. All the poet has to do is listen. The poet is not an important fellow. There will also be another poet. -Stevie Smith

To be born in Wales, not with a silver spoon in your mouth, but, with music in your blood and with poetry in your soul, is a privilege indeed. -Brian Harris

Eloquence is the poetry of prose. -William Cullen Bryant

The poetry of a people comes from the deep recesses of the unconscious, the irrational and the collective body of our ancestral memories. -Margaret Walker

I found that it wasn't so oddball to like music and poetry and visual arts, they're kindred spirits. -J. Carter Brown

I started off in England and very few people knew I was Australian. I mean, the clues were in the poems, but they didn't read them very carefully, and so for years and years I was considered completely part of the English poetry scene. -Peter Porter

All good poetry is forged slowly and patiently, link by link, with sweat and blood and tears. -Lord Alfred Douglas

We are looking to brands for poetry and for spirituality, because we're not getting those things from our communities or from each other. -Naomi Klein

The mystical poetry of William Blake's artwork also forms the basis for the album cover. -Bruce Dickinson

I'm quite sure that most writers would sustain real poetry if they could, but it takes devotion and talent. -Marguerite Young

I'm as much influenced by Joseph Smith and the Mormons as I am, more so, than by Eliot. Actually, I'm much more influenced by the poetry of the Mormons. -Marguerite Young

Most people ignore most poetry because most poetry ignores most people. -Adrian Mitchell

I despair of ever writing excellent poetry. -Isaac Rosenberg

I will not leave a corner of my consciousness covered up, but saturate myself with the strange and extraordinary new conditions of this life, and it will all refine itself into poetry later on. -Isaac Rosenberg

Nobody ever told me what to read, or ever put poetry in my way. -Isaac Rosenberg

I see architecture not as Gropius did, as a moral venture, as truth, but as invention, in the same way that poetry or music or painting is invention. -Michael Graves

But poetry is a way of language, it is not its subject or its maker's background or interests or hobbies or fixations. It is nearer to utterance than history. -Thomas Lynch

So I suppose poetry, language, the shaping of it, was and remains for me an effort to make sense out of essentially senseless situations. -Thomas Lynch

My art and poetry is very political now. Because you've got to find that truth within you and express yourself. Somewhere out there, I know, there will be people who will listen. -Jack Bowman

Write verse, not poetry. The public wants verse. If you have a talent for poetry, then don't by any means mother it, but try your hand at verse. -Robert W. Service

As for political poetry, as it's usually defined, it seems there's very little good political poetry. -Kenneth Koch

I love painting and music, of course. I don't know nearly as much about them as I know about poetry. I've certainly been influenced by fiction. I was overwhelmed by War and Peace when I read it, and I didn't read it until I was in my late 20s. -Kenneth Koch

I was excited by what my painter friends were doing, and they seemed to be interested in our poetry too, and that was a wonderful little, fizzy sort of world. -Kenneth Koch

I wonder if I ever thought of an ideal reader… I guess when I was in my 20s and in New York and maybe even in my early 30s, I would write for my wife Janice… mainly for my poet friends and my wife, who was very smart about poetry. -Kenneth Koch

I was influenced by surrealist poetry and painting as were thousands of other people, and it seems to me to have become a part of the way I write, but it's not. -Kenneth Koch

Art: If the object of poetry is, to make men, then poetry is the heir of prophecy. -Muhammad Iqbal

If the object of poetry is, to make men, then poetry is the heir of prophecy. -Muhammad Iqbal

When truth has no burning, then it is philosophy, when it gets burning from the heart, it becomes poetry. -Muhammad Iqbal

There is an urgent need for Americans to look deeply into themselves and their actions, and musical poetry is perhaps the most effective mirror available. Every newspaper headline is a potential song. -Phil Ochs

I credit poetry for making this space-walk possible. -Seamus Heaney

A public expectation, it has to be said, not of poetry as such but of political positions variously approvable by mutually disapproving groups. -Seamus Heaney

Manifesting that order of poetry where we can at last grow up to that which we stored up as we grew. -Seamus Heaney

In fact, in lyric poetry, truthfulness becomes recognizable as a ring of truth within the medium itself. -Seamus Heaney

What she did was to open our eyes to details of country life such as teaching us names of wild flowers and getting us to draw and paint and learn poetry. -Laurie Lee

I think that the job of poetry, its political job, is to refresh the idea of justice, which is going dead in us all the time. -Robert Hass

I cannot speak for more than an hour exclusively about poetry. At that point, life itself takes over again. -Wislawa Szymborska

Poetic talent doesn't operate in a vacuum. There is a spirit of Polish poetry. -Wislawa Szymborska

I guess I wanted to leave America for awhile. It wasn't that I wanted to become an expatriate, or just never come back, I needed some breathing room. I'd already been translating French poetry, I'd been to Paris once before and liked it very much, and so I just went. -Paul Auster

I was always interested in French poetry sort of as a sideline to my own work, I was translating contemporary French poets. That kind of spilled out into translation as a way to earn money, pay for food and put bread on the table. -Paul Auster

Well I guess the plan was to write poetry and publish books and make a living from writing poetry. That was a pretty ambitious plan I guess. -Robert Adamson

Well – I started writing – probably in the early 60s and by say '65-'66 I had read most of the poetry that had been published – certainly in the 20 years prior to that. -Robert Adamson

There's one of my new poems actually – is a good example of where my poetry has ended up. My earlier river poetry was more like a cross between Shelley and Dylan Thomas. -Robert Adamson

When I was in college, I used to write little ditties and short stories and poetry for my friends. Writing a book is another thing. It is so much different from my traditional day of dirty fingernails and greasy hair and hot pans. -Mario Batali

So now I have a collection of poetry by Aaron Neville and I give it to people I want to share it with. I'd like to publish it someday. -Aaron Neville

My friends never talk to me about my poetry because they're embarrassed that I write it or they're embarrassed by what I write about which are not such extraordinarily terrifying things, but they are the state of human existence. -Peter Davison

I think poetry has lost an awful lot of its muscle because nobody knows any. Nobody has to memorize poetry. -Peter Davison

Dealing with poetry is a daunting task, simply because the reason one does it as an editor at all is because one is constantly coming to terms with one's own understanding of how to understand the world. -Peter Davison

Every so often I find some poems that are too good for the readers of The Atlantic because they are a little too involved with the nature of poetry, as such. -Peter Davison

They need to learn poetry. They don't need to learn about poetry. They don't need to be told how to interpret poetry. They don't need to be told how to understand poetry. They need to learn it. -Peter Davison

The more poetry you have in the head, the more poetry you will understand because you will be getting to the roots of what it is that makes people write poetry at all. -Peter Davison

But poetry is my life. Poetry is what matters to me. -Peter Davison

And there are a lot more people reading poetry, but there are not so many people reading an individual poet. -Peter Davison

But for me, being an editor I've been an editor of all kinds of books being an editor of poetry has been the way in which I could give a crucial part of my time to what I love most. -Peter Davison

There are so many things that poetry is about, one of which is memory. -Peter Davison

It is a way we reassess our past. We can do that in poetry in ways we can't do in prose. -Peter Davison

It's bad poetry executed by people that can't sing. That's my definition of Rap. -Peter Steele

I realized poetry's the thing that I can do 'cause I can stick at it and work with tremendous intensity. -Philip Levine

The irony is, going to work every day became the subject of probably my best poetry. -Philip Levine

Meet some people who care about poetry the way you do. You'll have that readership. Keep going until you know you're doing work that's worthy. And then see what happens. That's my advice. -Philip Levine

Now I think poetry will save nothing from oblivion, but I keep writing about the ordinary because for me it's the home of the extraordinary, the only home. -Philip Levine

My mother carried on and supported us; her ambition had been to write poetry and songs. -Philip Levine

I want to promote poetry to the point where you got all the baldhead kids running around doing poetry, getting the music out of the way and having only words, the spoken word, and then see what happens. -Russell Simmons

On the other hand, if there's an underlying core of poetry that I go to, I go to the sea. I've lived on the sea all my life. I live on the sea in Cape Breton. -Richard Serra

I had art as a major, along with English, French and History. I had dance, modern dance. In English I was allowed to write my own poetry, which I eventually got published. -Sally Kirkland

I guess the two Manifesto, Communicating Vessels, Mad Love, and some of his poetry made a significant mark on me but as far as bringing a literary element into the music I see it as a much broader assimilation. -Trevor Dunn

I didn't want to deal in poetry. I got rid of that after a few months. -Tom Wesselmann

The arts generally have had to recognize Modernism – how should poetry escape? -John Crowe Ransom

And how can poetry stand up against its new conditions? Its position is perfectly precarious. -John Crowe Ransom

I've always written, all my life, and when I was very young I developed an interest in poetry. -Jeffery Deaver

I like the way words go together and I like the gamesmanship of writing poetry. It is such a challenge. -Jeffery Deaver

But one does not make living writing poetry unless you're a professor, and one frankly doesn't get a lot of girls as a poet. -Jeffery Deaver

My mother asked me what I wanted for my birthday, so I said I wanted to read poetry with her. -Guy Johnson

Concrete poets continue to turn out beautiful things, but to me they're more visual than oral, and they almost really belong on the wall rather than in a book. I haven't the least idea of where poetry is going. -James Laughlin

I think that concrete poetry seems to have, as far as I can see, come to a kind of a dead end. It doesn't seem to be going any further than it went in its high period of about five or six years ago. -James Laughlin

I think that is where poetry reading becomes such an individual thing. I mean I have friend who like poets who just don't say anything to me at all, I mean they seem to me rather ordinary and pedestrian. -James Laughlin

I think there's no excuse for the American poetry reader not knowing a good deal about what is going on in the rest of the world. -James Laughlin

I think we will always have the impulse towards visual poetry with us, and I wouldn't agree with Bly that it's a bad thing. It depends on the ability of the individual poet to do it well, and to make a shape which is interesting enough to hold your attention. -James Laughlin

Of course a poem is a two-way street. No poem is any good if it doesn't suggest to the reader things from his own mind and recollection that he will read into it, and will add to what the poet has suggested. But I do think poetry readings are very important. -James Laughlin

We don't attempt to have any theme for a number of the anthology, or to have any particular sequence. We just put in things that we like, and then we try to alternate the prose and the poetry. -James Laughlin

There's not a good poet I know who has not at the beck and call of his memory a vast quantity of poetry that composes his mental library. -Anthony Hecht

I was in Paris at an English-language bookstore. I picked up a volume of Dickinson's poetry. I came back to my hotel, read 2,000 of her poems and immediately began composing in my head. I wrote down the melodies even before I got to a piano. -Gordon Getty

When you're looking that far out, you're giving people their place in the universe, it touches people. Science is often visual, so it doesn't need translation. It's like poetry, it touches you. -Story Musgrave

I've already written 300 space poems. But I look upon my ultimate form as being a poetic prose. When you read it, it appears to be prose, but within the prose you have embedded the techniques of poetry. -Story Musgrave

I have experienced healing through other writers' poetry, but there's no way I can sit down to write in the hope a poem will have healing potential. If I do, I'll write a bad poem. -Marilyn Hacker

Translation is an interestingly different way to be involved both with poetry and with the language that I've found myself living in much of the time. I think the two feed each other. -Marilyn Hacker

When you translate poetry in particular, you're obliged to look at how the writer with whom you're working puts together words, sentences, phrases, the triple tension between the line of verse, the syntax and the sentence. -Marilyn Hacker

That is what I did with Jack, and that's why he liked to do the readings with me because he knew I was there for him, and for our ability to blend the poetry and the music. -David Amram

Even if you only want to write science fiction, you should also read mysteries, poetry, mainstream literature, history, biography, philosophy, and science. -Walter Jon Williams

I have always written poetry but I have never applied it to songwriting. -Janine Turner

I published, privately, a collection of my serious poetry I had written over the years. I only published 50 copies, which I gave to friends, in a special deluxe edition. It was ridiculously expensive but I'm glad that I did it. -Tom Glazer

Well, if this is poetry, I'm certainly never going to write any myself. -James Schuyler

When I was younger, I felt it was my duty to wake people up. I thought poetry was asleep. I thought rock 'n' roll was asleep. -Patti Smith

For whatever reason, people, including very well-educated people or people otherwise interested in reading, do not read poetry. -Paul Muldoon

That's one of the great things about poetry; one realises that one does one's little turn – that you're just part of the great crop, as it were. -Paul Muldoon

The other side of it is that, despite all that, people reach out to poetry at the key moments in their lives. -Paul Muldoon

We simply have not kept in touch with poetry. -Paul Muldoon

That poetry survived in its formal agencies finally, and that prose survived to get something said. -Robert Creeley

Bleak House is just the most astounding piece of work. There's huge, visionary poetry in it. -Simon Callow

Religion is no more possible without prayer than poetry without language, or music without atmosphere. -James Martineau

I knew what book we had to write, it was clear in my head; it was journals and poetry. So I passed on their offer. I told my agent this is our vision, and no one's done it this way. -Kenny Loggins

I'm hopefully touring with Colin Baker next year in Perfect Strangers. I have performed with Sylvia Simms in poetry and music evenings. I would love to do those for the rest of my career – they are so fun and witty. -Louise Jameson

Music is more emotional than prose, more revolutionary than poetry. I'm not saying I've got the answers, just a of questions that I don't hear other artists asking. -Malcolm Wilson

If you go into a bar in most places in America and even say the word poetry, you'll probably get beaten up. But poetry is a really strong, beautiful form to me, and a lot of innovation in language comes from poetry. -Jim Jarmusch

At this point we've answered about every question you could possibly imagine about Deep Space Nine, so we do this thing called Theatrical Jazz, where we do a show of bits and pieces of things from plays and literature, poetry… stuff that we like. It's fun. -Rene Auberjonois

There is a wonderful Hungarian literature, especially in lyric poetry. -Gyorgy Ligeti

Probably induced by the asthma, I started reading and writing early on, my literary efforts from the age of about nine running chiefly to poetry and plays. -Patrick White

I don't think you get to good writing unless you expose yourself and your feelings. Deep songs don't come from the surface; they come from the deep down. The poetry and the songs that you are suppose to write, I believe are in your heart. -Judy Collins

I could no more define poetry than a terrier can define a rat. -A. E. Housman

I write all the time – I write poetry, I love to write. -Colin Quinn

My favorite subject probably was math. I love math. Figures just intrigue me. I was really good at math. English probably was my worst subject. But I used to write a lot of poetry. I used to write poetry all the time. -Herschel Walker

Who writes poetry imbibes honey from the poisoned lips of life. -William Rose Benet

I'd always loved poetry and I'd always loved writing music and composing music, but I hadn't thought of putting the two together until around that time. -Bruce Cockburn

All the modern verse plays, they're terrible; they're mostly about the poetry. It's more important that the play is first. -Denis Johnson

Science fiction, outside of poetry, is the only literary field which has no limits, no parameters whatsoever. -Theodore Sturgeon

I don't think it's always good to read lots of poetry. -Amber Tamblyn

I did know Ted Hughes and I partly wrote the book to explain to myself and others the complexities of a marriage that was for six years wonderfully productive of poetry and then ended in tragedy. -Anne Stevenson

I don't like poetry that just slaps violent words on a canvas, as it were. -Anne Stevenson

I have always made my own rules, in poetry as in life – though I have tried of late to cooperate more with my family. I do, however, believe that without order or pattern poetry is useless. -Anne Stevenson

I'm not really quiet or shy. Ask any of my friends! But I always ground my poetry in life itself. Poetry is an art of language, though, so I am always aware of every word's meaning, or multiple meanings. -Anne Stevenson

Poets should ignore most criticism and get on with making poetry. -Anne Stevenson

I do not see how a man can work on the frontiers of physics and write poetry at the same time. They are in opposition. -Paul Dirac

It's just poetry, beauty and love. How hard can that be to act? -Robin Wright

We read Robert Browning's poetry. Here we needed no guidance from the professor: the poems themselves were enough. -Carl Sandburg

When I was writing pretty poor poetry, this girl with midnight black hair told me to go on. -Carl Sandburg

The tradition of Russian literature is also an eastern tradition of learning poetry and prose by heart. -Ryszard Kapuscinski

I think when kids just see well-crafted poetry, it's just obtuse to them. It's hard to relate to. -Jewel

I've got a book of poetry by the bed, one of these big collections that goes back to the Greeks and Romans. -Martin Cruz Smith

I always liked the magic of poetry but now I'm just starting to see behind the curtain of even the best poets, how they've used, tried and tested craft to create the illusion. Wonderful feeling of exhilaration to finally be there. -David Knopfler

An experienced reader uses the poem as an agent of inquiry. This makes poetry very exciting, unstable, and interactive. -John Barton

In the past, poetry came in the form of spells and chants used to effect change. -John Barton

If poetry alters the way in which the reader views the world, then it has had its desired effect. -John Barton

Sometimes poetry is inspired by the conversation entered into by reading other poems. -John Barton

My obsession with time informs my poetry so completely it is hard for me to summarize it. We want time to pass, for new things to happen to us, we want to hold on to certain moments, we don't want our lives to end. -John Barton

Rap is rhythm and poetry. Hip-hop is storytelling and poetry as well. -Ajay Naidu

I've done a number of readings at poetry lounges in Vancouver and Los Angeles. I've compiled a book of poetry that's completed, and two others I'm working on. -Corin Nemec

Even the people who have had success and made money writing these books of fiction seem to feel the need to pretend it's no big deal, or part of a natural progression from poetry to fiction, but often it's really just about the money, the perceived prestige. -George Murray

Humour is a fine line to walk in poetry, as in fiction. I just think it's harder to write. It's harder to keep the respect of the reader too. -George Murray

I've often entertained paranoid suspicions about my fridge and what it's been doing to my poetry when I'm not looking, but I never even considered that my fan was thinking about me. -George Murray

The poetry community here has been extraordinarily welcoming. -George Murray

Then I discovered I loved writing poetry more than fiction. -George Murray

I think that it's more likely that in my 60s and 70s I will be writing poetry rather than fiction. -Robert Morgan

I did not have a very literary background. I came to poetry from the sciences and mathematics, and also through an interest in Japanese and Chinese poetry in translation. -Robert Morgan

Pound's translation of Chinese poetry was maybe the most important thing I read. Eliot a little bit later. -Robert Morgan

You have to really dive deep back into yourself and get rid of so much modern analytical categorization. It's one of the great things poetry does. -Robert Morgan

The great watershed of modern poetry is French, more than English. -Robert Morgan

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

The Language Poets are writing only about language itself. The Ashbery poets are writing only about poetry itself. That seems to me a kind of dead end. -Robert Morgan

Our most famous writers are Faulkner and Eudora Welty and Flannery O'Connor. It would make sense that the poetry would reflect some of those same values, some of the same techniques. -Robert Morgan

The decision to write in prose instead of poetry is made more by the readers than by writers. Almost no one is interested in reading narrative in verse. -Robert Morgan

Teaching writing over the years intrudes on your own writing in important ways, taking away some of the excitement of poetry. -Robert Morgan

I don't think poetry is something that can be taught. We can encourage young writers, but what you can't teach them is the very essence of poetry. -Robert Morgan

I don't think the creative writing industry has helped American poetry. -Robert Morgan

Some people swear by writing courses, but whether it really helps American poetry, I have doubts. -Robert Morgan

I don't think American poetry has gotten any better in the past 35 years. Oddly enough, creative writing programs seem to have been good for fiction, and I would not have predicted that. -Robert Morgan

One of the most powerful devices of poetry is the use of distortions. You can go from talking about the way a minute passes to the way a century passes, or a lifetime. -Robert Morgan

Alchemy is the art of far and near, and I think poetry is alchemy in that way. It's delightful to distort size, to see something that's tiny as though it were vast. -Robert Morgan

A poem in form still has to have voice, gesture, a sense of discovery, a metaphoric connection, as any poetry does. -Robert Morgan

The fact that something is in a rhymed form or in blank verse will not make it good poetry. -Robert Morgan

What actually makes poetry poetry is of course impossible to define. We recognize it when we hear it, when we see it, but we can't define it. -Robert Morgan

If a poem is not memorable, there's probably something wrong. One of the problems of free verse is that much of the free verse poetry is not memorable. -Robert Morgan

The idea of avant-garde art is a very suspicious thing to me, the idea that poetry is new and it keeps being new the way Chevrolets every year are new. -Robert Morgan

Part of what we love about poetry is the fact that it seems ancient, that it has an authority of ancient language and ancient form, and that it's timeless, that it reaches back. -Robert Morgan

The young people have MTV and rock and roll. Why would they go to read poetry? Poetry belongs to the Stone Age. It awakens in us perceptions that go back to those times. -Robert Morgan

I learned to impersonate the kind of person that talks about poetry. It comes from teaching, I think. -Robert Morgan

I wrote The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God in five hours, but I had it all planned out. It isn't poetry and it does not pretend to be, but it does what it sets out to do. -J. Milton Hayes

Today the U.S. is farther from being nourished by poetry than it was a hundred years ago, when books of poems were best-sellers. -James Broughton

In the world of poetry there are would-be poets, workshop poets, promising poets, lovesick poets, university poets, and a few real poets. -James Broughton

The quietest poetry can be an explosion of joy. -James Broughton

For me, prose walks, poetry dances. -James Broughton

My films are an extension of my poetry, using the white screen like the white page to be filled with images. -James Broughton

I believe that the short story is as different a form from the novel as poetry is, and the best stories seem to me to be perhaps closer in spirit to poetry than to novels. -Tobias Wolff

A very intimate sense of the expressiveness of outward things, which ponders, listens, penetrates, where the earlier, less developed consciousness passed lightly by, is an important element in the general temper of our modern poetry. -Walter Pater

That sense of a life in natural objects, which in most poetry is but a rhetorical artifice, was, then, in Wordsworth the assertion of what was for him almost literal fact. -Walter Pater

Many attempts have been made by writers on art and poetry to define beauty in the abstract, to express it in the most general terms, to find some universal formula for it. -Walter Pater

Such discussions help us very little to enjoy what has been well done in art or poetry, to discriminate between what is more and what is less excellent in them, or to use words like beauty, excellence, art, poetry, with a more precise meaning than they would otherwise have. -Walter Pater

I wrote some bad poetry that I published in North African journals, but even as I withdrew into this reading, I also led the life of a kind of young hooligan. -Jacques Derrida

A group of us started a community center in Santa Monica. We've tried different programs, and three have worked really well. A poetry group. Once a week we visit Venice High and talk to girls at risk. -Lisa Bonet

Deep feeling doesn't make for good poetry. A way with language would be a bit of help. -Thom Gunn

My old teacher's definition of poetry is an attempt to understand. -Thom Gunn

There have been two popular subjects for poetry in the last few decades: the Vietnam War and AIDS, about both of which almost all of us have felt deeply. -Thom Gunn

On July 26, 1916, I announced to all my friends in America that from now on I resolved to write no more poems in the classical language, and to begin my experiments in writing poetry in the so-called vulgar tongue of the people. -Hu Shih

A lyric, it is true, is the expression of personal emotion, but then so is all poetry, and to suppose that there are several kinds of poetry, differing from each other in essence, is to be deceived by wholly artificial divisions which have no real being. -John Drinkwater

Any long work in which poetry is persistent, be it epic or drama or narrative, is really a succession of separate poetic experiences governed into a related whole by an energy distinct from that which evoked them. -John Drinkwater

But in the finished art of the song the use of words has no connection with the use of words in poetry. -John Drinkwater

For while the subjects of poetry are few and recurrent, the moods of man are infinitely various and unstable. It is the same in all arts. -John Drinkwater

If it is an imperfect word, no external circumstance can heighten its value as poetry. -John Drinkwater

It should here be added that poetry habitually takes the form of verse. -John Drinkwater

So it is in poetry. All we ask is that the mood recorded shall impress us as having been of the kind that exhausts the imaginative capacity; if it fails to do this the failure will announce itself either in prose or in insignificant verse. -John Drinkwater

The musician – if he be a good one – finds his own perception prompted by the poet's perception, and he translates the expression of that perception from the terms of poetry into the terms of music. -John Drinkwater

To know anything of a poet but his poetry is, so far as the poetry is concerned, to know something that may be entertaining, even delightful, but is certainly inessential. -John Drinkwater

We recognise in the finished art, which is the result of these conditions, the best words in the best order – poetry; and to put this essential poetry into different classes is impossible. -John Drinkwater

If I do a poetry reading I want people to walk out and say they feel better for having been there – not because you've done a comedy performance but because you're talking about your father dying or having young children, things that touch your soul. -Roger McGough

Whereas with poetry no one has to show anybody really, and you don't have to tell anyone you're doing it. -Roger McGough

Stylized acting and direction is to realistic acting and direction as poetry is to prose. -Elia Kazan

I thought we were gonna open up the world of poetry and music to all kinds of things, and yet, I can't really think of anyone who's done anything like it since. -Ray Manzarek

At the age when Bengali youth almost inevitably writes poetry, I was listening to European classical music. -Satyajit Ray

There is one type of ideal woman very seldom described in poetry – the old maid, the woman whom sorrow or misfortune prevents from fulfilling her natural destiny. -Lafcadio Hearn

The subject of Finnish poetry ought to have a special interest for the Japanese student, if only for the reason that Finnish poetry comes more closely in many respects to Japanese poetry than any other form of Western poetry. -Lafcadio Hearn

Perhaps there is an idea among Japanese students that one general difference between Japanese and Western poetry is that the former cultivates short forms and the latter longer ones, gut this is only in part true. -Lafcadio Hearn

It is true that short forms of poetry have been cultivated in the Far East more than in modern Europe; but in all European literature short forms of poetry are to be found – indeed quite as short as anything in Japanese. -Lafcadio Hearn

I often imagine that the longer he studies English literature the more the Japanese student must be astonished at the extraordinary predominance given to the passion of love both in fiction and in poetry. -Lafcadio Hearn

But every great scripture, whether Hebrew, Indian, Persian, or Chinese, apart from its religious value will be found to have some rare and special beauty of its own; and in this respect the original Bible stands very high as a monument of sublime poetry and of artistic prose. -Lafcadio Hearn

For my part, if I consider poetry as an object, I maintain that it is born of the necessity of adding a vocal sound (speech) to the hammering of the first tribal music. -Eugenio Montale

However, poetry does not live solely in books or in school anthologies. -Eugenio Montale

I do not go in search of poetry. I wait for poetry to visit me. -Eugenio Montale

Narrative art, the novel, from Murasaki to Proust, has produced great works of poetry. -Eugenio Montale

Slowly poetry becomes visual because it paints images, but it is also musical: it unites two arts into one. -Eugenio Montale

There is also poetry written to be shouted in a square in front of an enthusiastic crowd. This occurs especially in countries where authoritarian regimes are in power. -Eugenio Montale

There is poetry even in prose, in all the great prose which is not merely utilitarian or didactic: there exist poets who write in prose or at least in more or less apparent prose; millions of poets write verses which have no connection with poetry. -Eugenio Montale

This proves that great lyric poetry can die, be reborn, die again, but will always remain one of the most outstanding creations of the human soul. -Eugenio Montale

True poetry is similar to certain pictures whose owner is unknown and which only a few initiated people know. -Eugenio Montale

It is the timber of poetry that wears most surely, and there is no timber that has not strong roots among the clay and worms. -John Millington Synge

The first question at that time in poetry was simply the question of honesty, of sincerity. -George Oppen

I have had much to learn from Sweden's poetry and, more especially, from her lyrics of the last generation. -Knut Hamsun

No, what I should really like to do right now, in the full blaze of lights, before this illustrious assembly, is to shower every one of you with gifts, with flowers, with offerings of poetry – to be young once more, to ride on the crest of the wave. -Knut Hamsun

But it is the province of religion, of philosophy, of pure poetry only, to go beyond life, beyond time, into eternity. -Alfred de Vigny

What does that represent? There was never any question in plastic art, in poetry, in music, of representing anything. It is a matter of making something beautiful, moving, or dramatic – this is by no means the same thing. -Fernand Leger

Only in dreams, in poetry, in play do we sometimes arrive at what we were before we were this thing that, who knows, we are. -Julio Cortazar

But the gravest difficulty, and perhaps the most important, in poetry meant solely for recitation, is the difficulty of achieving verbal beauty, or rather of making verbal beauty tell. -Lascelles Abercrombie

By the general process of epic poetry, I mean the way this form of art has constantly responded to the profound needs of the society in which it was made. -Lascelles Abercrombie

Epic poetry exhibits life in some great symbolic attitude. It cannot strictly be said to symbolize life itself, but always some manner of life. -Lascelles Abercrombie

If epic poetry is a definite species, the sagas do not fall within it. -Lascelles Abercrombie

That is to say, epic poetry has been invented many times and independently; but, as the needs which prompted the invention have been broadly similar, so the invention itself has been. -Lascelles Abercrombie

The reason can only be this: heroic poetry depends on an heroic age, and an age is heroic because of what it is, not because of what it does. -Lascelles Abercrombie

Traditional matter must be glorified, since it would be easier to listen to the re-creation of familiar stories than to quite new and unexpected things; the listeners, we must remember, needed poetry chiefly as the re-creation of tired hours. -Lascelles Abercrombie

With several different kinds of poetry to choose from, a man would decide that he would like best to be an epic poet, and he would set out, in conscious determination, on an epic poem. -Lascelles Abercrombie

Let me read you some of my poetry. My poetry just takes me to another level. -Rick Fox

Theater and poetry were what helped people stay alive and want to go on living. -Vanessa Redgrave

And inasmuch as the bridge is a symbol of all such poetry as I am interested in writing it is my present fancy that a year from now I'll be more contented working in an office than ever before. -Hart Crane

American poetry, like American painting, is always personal with an emphasis on the individuality of the poet. -Diane Wakoski

But I am not political in the current events sense, and I have never wanted anyone to read my poetry that way. -Diane Wakoski

But I don't think that poetry is a good, to use a contemporary word, venue, for current events. -Diane Wakoski

High and low culture come together in all Post Modern art, and American poetry is not excluded from this. -Diane Wakoski

I definitely wish to distinguish American poetry from British or other English language poetry. -Diane Wakoski

Still, language is resilient, and poetry when it is pressured simply goes underground. -Diane Wakoski

Because, in fact, women, feminists, do read my poetry, and they read it often with the power of their political interpretation. I don't care; that's what poetry is supposed to do. -Diane Wakoski

I think that's what poetry does. It allows people to come together and identify with a common thing that is outside of themselves, but which they identify with from the interior. -Diane Wakoski

I'm perfectly happy when I look out at an audience and it's all women. I always think it's kind of odd, but then, more women than men, I think, read and write poetry. -Diane Wakoski

PC stuff just lowers the general acceptance of good work and replaces it with bogus poetry that celebrates values that in themselves are probably quite worthy. -Diane Wakoski

Distinctly American poetry is usually written in the context of one's geographic landscape, sometimes out of one's cultural myths, and often with reference to gender and race or ethnic origins. -Diane Wakoski

From reading a previous answer, you know that I consider all those aspects to be part of American cultural myth and thus they figure into good American poetry, whether the poet is aware of what he is doing or not. -Diane Wakoski

I don't like political poetry, and I don't write it. If this question was pointing towards that, I think it is missing the point of the American tradition, which is always apolitical, even when the poetry comes out of politically active writers. -Diane Wakoski

I have always wanted what I have now come to call the voice of personal narrative. That has always been the appealing voice in poetry. It started for me lyrically in Shakespeare's sonnets. -Diane Wakoski

I think I'm a very good reader of poetry, but obviously, like everybody, I have a set of criteria for reading poems, and I'm not shy about presenting them, so if people ask for my critical response to a poem, I tell them what works and why, and what doesn't work and why. -Diane Wakoski

I think that great poetry is the most interesting and complex use of the poet's language at that point in history, and so it's even more exciting when you read a poet like Yeats, almost 100 years old now, and you think that perhaps no one can really top that. -Diane Wakoski

In my opinion, the most significant works of the twentieth century are those that rise beyond the conceptual tyranny of genre; they are, at the same time, poetry, criticism, narrative, drama, etc. -Juan Goytisolo

Most people can't tell now who wrote what. I like that blurring of identities within the band. because it becomes a unified thing that can't be related to other forms of historical poetry. -Thurston Moore

Poetry is fascinating. As soon as it begins the poetry has changed the thing into something extra, and somehow prose can go over into poetry. -Michael Tippett

All those authors there, most of whom of course I've never met. That's the poetry side, that's the prose side, that's the fishing and miscellaneous behind me. You get an affection for books that you've enjoyed. -Norman MacCaig

And if they haven't got poetry in them, there's nothing you can do that will produce it. -Norman MacCaig

And the second question, can poetry be taught? I didn't think so. -Norman MacCaig

However, I learned something. I thought that if the young person, the student, has poetry in him or her, to offer them help is like offering a propeller to a bird. -Norman MacCaig

I never think about poetry except when I'm writing it. I mean my poetry. -Norman MacCaig

I was very interested in American poetry for many years. Much less now. -Norman MacCaig

In fact a lot of them I think are absolute baloney. Those Charles Olsens and people like that. At first I was interested in seeing what they were up to, what they were doing, why they were doing it. They never moved me in the way that one is moved by true poetry. -Norman MacCaig

When I was asked to be Writer in Residence at Edinburgh I thought, you can't teach poetry. This is ridiculous. -Norman MacCaig

The music just tends to be a vehicle for that poetry. -Mark Knopfler

Women who are inclined to write poetry at all are inspired by being mad at something. -Amy Clampitt

A book is sent out into the world, and there is no way of fully anticipating the responses it will elicit. Consider the responses called forth by the Bible, Homer, Shakespeare – let alone contemporary poetry or a modern novel. -Chaim Potok

What we know is that Shakespeare wrote perhaps the most remarkable body of passionate love poetry in the English language to a young man. -Stephen Greenblatt

I began the way nearly everybody I ever heard of – I began writing poetry. And I find that to be quite usual with writers, their trying their hand at poetry. -Shelby Foote

I used to write sonnets and various things, and moved from there into writing prose, which, incidentally, is a lot more interesting than poetry, including the rhythms of prose. -Shelby Foote

Gil Thorpe is a great diversion and is to book writing as poetry is to prose. -Jerry B. Jenkins

There is probably nothing wrong with art for art's sake if we take the phrase seriously, and not take it to mean the kind of poetry written in England forty years ago. -Allen Tate

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

I am not ridiculing verbal mechanisms, dreams, or repressions as origins of poetry; all three of them and more besides may have a great deal to do with it. -Allen Tate

How does one happen to write a poem: where does it come from? That is the question asked by the psychologists or the geneticists of poetry. -Allen Tate

Well, the great thing for me about poetry is that in good poems the dislocation of words, that is to say, the distance between what they say they're saying and what they are actually saying is at its greatest. -Harry Mathews

Well, I had this little notion – I started writing when I was eleven, writing poetry. I was passionately addicted to it; it was my great refuge through adolescence. -Harry Mathews

My next project is to get back to that. Actually, to learn how to write poetry. I'm not kidding. -Harry Mathews

I would say that American poetry has always been a poetry of personal testimony. -Mark Strand

I think the best American poetry is the poetry that utilizes the resources of poetry rather than exploits the defects or triumphs of the poet's personality. -Mark Strand

I certainly can't speak for all cultures or all societies, but it's clear that in America, poetry serves a very marginal purpose. It's not part of the cultural mainstream. -Mark Strand

I believe that all poetry is formal in that it exists within limits, limits that are either inherited by tradition or limits that language itself imposes. -Mark Strand

And yet, in a culture like ours, which is given to material comforts, and addicted to forms of entertainment that offer immediate gratification, it is surprising that so much poetry is written. -Mark Strand

And at least in poetry you should feel free to lie. That is, not to lie, but to imagine what you want, to follow the direction of the poem. -Mark Strand

A life is not sufficiently elevated for poetry, unless, of course, the life has been made into an art. -Mark Strand

A great many people seem to think writing poetry is worthwhile, even though it pays next to nothing and is not as widely read as it should be. -Mark Strand

I try to show what it is about language and music that enthralls, because I think those are the two elements of poetry. -Rita Dove

Have you ever heard a good joke? If you've ever heard someone just right, with the right pacing, then you're already on the way to poetry. It's about using words in very precise ways and using gesture. -Rita Dove

Instead of trying to come up and pontificate on what literature is, you need to talk with children, to teachers, and make sure they get poetry in the curriculum early. -Rita Dove

There are distinct duties of a poet laureate. I plan a reading series at the Library of Congress and advise the librarian. The rest is how I want to promote poetry. -Rita Dove

I was apprehensive. I feared every time I talked about poetry, it would be filtered through the lens of race, sex, and age. -Rita Dove

I see a resurgence of interest in poetry. I am less optimistic about the prospects for the arts when it comes to federal funding. -Rita Dove

The poetry that sustains me is when I feel that, for a minute, the clouds have parted and I've seen ecstasy or something. -Rita Dove

And my father was a comic. He could play any musical instrument. He loved to perform. He was a wonderfully comedic character. He had the ability to dance and sing and charm and analyze poetry. -Lynn Johnston

Perhaps no person can be a poet, or even enjoy poetry, without a certain unsoundness of mind. -Thomas Babington Macaulay

The first function of poetry is to tell the truth, to learn how to do that, to find out what you really feel and what you really think. -June Jordan

So, poetry becomes a means for useful dialogue between people who are not only unknown, but mute to each other. It produces a dialogue among people that guards all of us against manipulation by our so-called leaders. -June Jordan

We all need ways to express ourselves, and poetry is one of mine. -Jack Prelutsky

Otherwise I don't read much adult poetry at all, because I'm not smart enough and mostly I don't get it. -Jack Prelutsky

I look for poetry in English because it's the only language I read. -Jack Prelutsky

Frankly, writing poetry for children is plain old fun, and I consider myself blessed to have such a delightful career. -Jack Prelutsky

Children seem naturally drawn to poetry – it's some combination of the rhyme, rhythm, and the words themselves. -Jack Prelutsky

Writing poetry makes you intensely conscious of how words sound, both aloud and inside the head of the reader. You learn the weight of words and how they sound to the ear. -Helen Dunmore

In my late teenage years, I developed a real passion for it, and wrote a lot of poetry. -Danielle Steel

In rap music, even though the element of poetry is very strong, so is the element of the drum, the implication of the dance. Without the beat, its commercial value would certainly be more tenuous. -Archie Shepp

I like the beauty of Faulkner's poetry. But I don't like his themes, not at all. -Manuel Puig

I think Ginsberg has done more harm to the craft that I honor and live by than anybody else by reducing it to a kind of mean that enables the most dubious practitioners to claim they are poets because they think, If the kind of thing Ginsberg does is poetry, I can do that. -James Dickey

Because people are very interested in my poetry, in what I say. -Compay Segundo

Theater is far superior to film in poetry, in abstract poetry. -Julie Taymor

Children can write poetry and then, unless they're poets, they stop when reach puberty. -Dennis Potter

While I've had a great distaste for what's usually called song in modern poetry or for what's usually called music, I really don't think of speech as so far from song. -David Antin

I hardly remember how I started to write poetry. It's hard to imagine what I thought poetry could do. -David Antin

I want a fever, in poetry: a fever, and tranquillity. -James Dickey

A lot happens by accident in poetry. -Howard Nemerov

I think there was a revolution in poetry, associated chiefly with Eliot and Pound; but maybe it is of the nature of revolutions or of the nature of history that their innovations should later come to look trivial or indistinguishable from technical tricks. -Howard Nemerov

I love Sufism as I love beautiful poetry, but it is not the answer. Sufism is like a mirage in the desert. It says to you, come and sit, relax and enjoy yourself for a while. -Naguib Mahfouz

As to London we must console ourselves with the thought that if life outside is less poetic than it was in the days of old, inwardly its poetry is much deeper. -Goldwin Smith

Every one who has a heart, however ignorant of architecture he may be, feels the transcendent beauty and poetry of the mediaeval churches. -Goldwin Smith

For me concrete poetry was a particular way of using language which came out of a particular feeling, and I don't have control over whether this feeling is in me or not. -Ian Hamilton Finlay

But I can only write what the muse allows me to write. I cannot choose, I can only do what I am given, and I feel pleased when I feel close to concrete poetry – still. -Ian Hamilton Finlay

But at the beginning it was clear to me that concrete poetry was peculiarly suited for using in public settings. This was my idea, but of course I never really much got the chance to do it. -Ian Hamilton Finlay

Well, probably I was fed up with concrete poetry. There was a lot of bad concrete poetry and besides, it was confused with visual poetry which was completely different. -Ian Hamilton Finlay

Well you can't teach the poetry, but you can teach the craft. -David Hockney

I want to write a book of poetry, as well as children's stories. -Bobby McFerrin

It's always good when women win things in fiction because it tends to be more male-dominated, unlike poetry, which is more equal. -Carol Ann Duffy

Real friendship, like real poetry, is extremely rare – and precious as a pearl. -Tahar Ben Jelloun

For me, poetry is a situation – a state of being, a way of facing life and facing history. -Tahar Ben Jelloun

I came to poetry through the urgent need to denounce injustice, exploitation, humiliation. I know that's not enough to change the world. But to remain silent would have been a kind of intolerable complicity. -Tahar Ben Jelloun

Poetry is also the physical self of the poet, and it is impossible to separate the poet from his poetry. -Salvatore Quasimodo

He passes from lyric to epic poetry in order to speak about the world and the torment in the world through man, rationally and emotionally. The poet then becomes a danger. -Salvatore Quasimodo

Religious poetry, civic poetry, lyric or dramatic poetry are all categories of man's expression which are valid only if the endorsement of formal content is valid. -Salvatore Quasimodo

I was one of those dark, quiet kids that wrote poetry. -Rick Springfield

I don't live for poetry. I live far more than anybody else does. -Charles Olson

A grain of poetry suffices to season a century. -Jose Marti

Why should poetry have to make sense? -Charlie Chaplin

Love is the poetry of the senses. -Honore de Balzac

Dancing is the poetry of the foot. -John Dryden

Ye stars! which are the poetry of heaven! -Lord Byron

Money is everywhere but so is poetry. What we lack are the poets. -Federico Fellini

You will not find poetry anywhere unless you bring some of it with you. -Joseph Joubert

In poetry everything which must be said is almost impossible to say well. -Paul Valery

All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry. -Edgar Allan Poe

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

Writing criticism is to writing fiction and poetry as hugging the shore is to sailing in the open sea. -John Updike

I want people to bow as they see me and say he is gifted with poetry, he has seen the presence of the creator. -Allen Ginsberg

Written poetry is worth reading once, and then should be destroyed. Let the dead poets make way for others. -Antonin Artaud

Stadium rock and commercial rock are the opposite of what poetry needs. An audience of around 200 is ideal for poetry. -Adrian Mitchell

Written poetry is different. Best thing is to see it in performance first, then read it. Performance is more provocative. -Adrian Mitchell

I don't like to boast, but I have probably skipped more poetry than any other person of my age and weight in this country. -Will Cuppy

Freedom is poetry, taking liberties with words, breaking the rules of normal speech, violating common sense. Freedom is violence. -Norman O. Brown

The great function of poetry is to give back to us the situations of our dreams. -Gaston Bachelard

We especially need imagination in science. It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, but it is somewhat beauty and poetry. -Maria Mitchell

The higher Greek poetry did not make up fictitious plots; its business was to express the heroic saga, the myths. -Gilbert Murray

Those who have never entered upon scientific pursuits know not a tithe of the poetry by which they are surrounded. -Herbert Spencer

If a line of poetry strays into my memory, my skin bristles so that the razor ceases to act. -A. E. Housman

Prior to Wordsworth, humor was an essential part of poetry. I mean, they don't call them Shakespeare comedies for nothing. -William Collins

I use rock and jazz and blues rhythms because I love that music. I hope my poetry has a relationship with good-time rock'n roll. -Adrian Mitchell

There are certain things in which mediocrity is not to be endured, such as poetry, music, painting, public speaking. -Jean de la Bruyere

In poetry, you must love the words, the ideas and the images and rhythms with all your capacity to love anything at all. -Wallace Stevens

There is the view that poetry should improve your life. I think people confuse it with the Salvation Army. -John Ashbery

Literature is a state of culture, poetry is a state of grace, before and after culture. -Juan Ramon Jimenez

I wish you would read a little poetry sometimes. Your ignorance cramps my conversation. -Anthony Hope

Too many people in the modern world view poetry as a luxury, not a necessity like petrol. But to me it's the oil of life. -John Betjeman

Reality only reveals itself when it is illuminated by a ray of poetry. -Georges Braque

I am two fools, I know, for loving, and for saying so in whining poetry. -John Donne

I think that one possible definition of our modern culture is that it is one in which nine-tenths of our intellectuals can't read any poetry. -Randall Jarrell

Science and art, or by the same token, poetry and prose differ from one another like a journey and an excursion. The purpose of the journey is its goal, the purpose of an excursion is the process. -Franz Grillparzer

It is the hour to be drunken! to escape being the martyred slaves of time, be ceaselessly drunk. On wine, on poetry, or on virtue, as you wish. -Charles Baudelaire

A definition of poetry can only determine what poetry should be and not what poetry actually was and is; otherwise the most concise formula would be: Poetry is that which at some time and some place was thus named. -Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

The world is full of poetry. The air is living with its spirit; and the waves dance to the music of its melodies, and sparkle in its brightness. -James Gates Percival

There are better ways we can transform this virulent hatred – by living our ideals, the Peace Corps, exchange students, teachers, exporting our music, poetry, blue jeans. -Helen Thomas

It is written on the arched sky; it looks out from every star. It is the poetry of Nature; it is that which uplifts the spirit within us. -John Ruskin

That's the way it is with poetry: When it is incomprehensible it seems profound, and when you understand it, it is only ridiculous. -Galway Kinnell

The poetry of this one is called philosophical, of that one philological, of a third rhetorical, and so on. Which is then the poetic poetry? -Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

It's always a combination of physics and poetry that I find inspiring. It's hard to wrap your head around things like the Hubble scope. -Tom Hanks

One can't write for all readers. A poet cannot write for people who don't like poetry. -Nathalie Sarraute

It is a happy thing that there is no royal road to poetry. The world should know by this time that one cannot reach Parnassus except by flying thither. -Gerard Manley Hopkins

Every age has its own poetry; in every age the circumstances of history choose a nation, a race, a class to take up the torch by creating situations that can be expressed or transcended only through poetry. -Jean-Paul Sartre

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

For a poet to depict a poet in poetry is a hazardous experiment; in regarding one's own trade a sense of humour and a little wholesome cynicism are not amiss. -Edward Dowden

Women are treated as unjustly in poetry as in life. The feminine ones are not idealistic, and the idealistic not feminine. -Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

If we ask a vague question, such as, 'What is poetry?' we expect a vague answer, such as, 'Poetry is the music of words,' or 'Poetry is the linguistic correction of disorder.' -A. R. Ammons

Prose talks and poetry sings. -Franz Grillparzer

One has only as much morality as one has philosophy and poetry. -Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

From what the moderns want, we must learn what poetry should become; from what the ancients did, what poetry must be. -Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

He who has religion will speak poetry. But philosophy is the tool with which to seek and discover religion. -Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

For awhile after you quit Keats all other poetry seems to be only whistling or humming. -F. Scott Fitzgerald

Versatility of education can be found in our best poetry, but the depth of mankind should be found in the philosopher. -Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

An age which is incapable of poetry is incapable of any kind of literature except the cleverness of a decadence. -Raymond Chandler

If there were no poetry on any day in the world, poetry would be invented that day. For there would be an intolerable hunger. -Muriel Rukeyser

Women do not have as great a need for poetry because their own essence is poetry. -Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

There is no gilding of setting sun or glamor of poetry to light up the ferocious and endless toil of the farmers' wives. -Hamlin Garland

Rhyme, that enslaved queen, that supreme charm of our poetry, that creator of our meter. -Victor Hugo

Probably all the attention to poetry results in some value, though the attention is more often directed to lesser than to greater values. -A. R. Ammons

Since the printing press came into being, poetry has ceased to be the delight of the whole community of man; it has become the amusement and delight of the few. -John Masefield

It is time to get drunk! So as not to be the martyred slaves of Time, get drunk; get drunk without stopping! On wine, on poetry, or on virtue, as you wish. -Charles Baudelaire

Colloquial poetry is to the real art as the barber's wax dummy is to sculpture. -Ezra Pound

Rap is poetry to music, like beatniks without beards and bongos. -David Lee Roth

The sources of poetry are in the spirit seeking completeness. -Muriel Rukeyser

There is little premium in poetry in a world that thinks of Pound and Whitman as a weight and a sampler, not an Ezra, a Walt, a thing of beauty, a joy forever. -Anna Quindlen

The sort of poetry I seek resides in objects man can't touch. -E. M. Forster

As civilization advances, poetry almost necessarily declines. -Thomas Babington Macaulay

I am grateful for – though I can't keep up with – the flood of articles, theses, and textbooks that mean to share insight concerning the nature of poetry. -A. R. Ammons

To see clearly is poetry, prophecy and religion all in one. -John Ruskin

The dance can reveal everything mysterious that is hidden in music, and it has the additional merit of being human and palpable. Dancing is poetry with arms and legs. -Charles Baudelaire

Once every five hundred years or so, a summary statement about poetry comes along that we can't imagine ourselves living without. -A. R. Ammons

France is not poetic; she even feels, in fact, a congenital horror of poetry. Among the writers who use verse, those whom she will always prefer are the most prosaic. -Charles Baudelaire

When it comes to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry. The poet, too, is not nearly so concerned with describing facts as with creating images. -Niels Bohr

Writing poetry is the hard manual labor of the imagination. -Ishmael Reed

Yet, it is true, poetry is delicious; the best prose is that which is most full of poetry. -Virginia Woolf

Nothing truly convincing – which would possess thoroughness, vigor, and skill – has been written against the ancients as yet; especially not against their poetry. -Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

Sometimes the beauty is easy. Sometimes you don't have to try at all. Sometimes you can hear the wind blow in a handshake. Sometimes there's poetry written right on the bathroom wall. -Ani DiFranco

The lines of poetry, the period of prose, and even the texts of Scripture most frequently recollected and quoted, are those which are felt to be preeminently musical. -William Shenstone

Hence poetry is something more philosophic and of graver import than history, since its statements are rather of the nature of universals, whereas those of history are singulars. -Aristotle

If poetry should address itself to the same needs and aspirations, the same hopes and fears, to which the Bible addresses itself, it might rival it in distribution. -Wallace Stevens

Mathematics is, as it were, a sensuous logic, and relates to philosophy as do the arts, music, and plastic art to poetry. -Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

Plot, rules, nor even poetry, are not half so great beauties in tragedy or comedy as a just imitation of nature, of character, of the passions and their operations in diversified situations. -Horace Walpole

Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous – to poetry. But also, it gives birth to the opposite: to the perverse, the illicit, the absurd. -Thomas Mann

To a poet the mere making of a poem can seem to solve the problem of truth, but only a problem of art is solved in poetry. -Laura Riding

Poetry fettered, fetters the human race. Nations are destroyed or flourish in proportion as their poetry, painting, and music are destroyed or flourish. -William Blake

Poetry is the universal language which the heart holds with nature and itself. He who has a contempt for poetry, cannot have much respect for himself, or for anything else. -William Hazlitt

The musician is perhaps the most modest of animals, but he is also the proudest. It is he who invented the sublime art of ruining poetry. -Erik Satie

The drama is complete poetry. The ode and the epic contain it only in germ; it contains both of them in a state of high development, and epitomizes both. -Victor Hugo

The poet exposes himself to the risk. All that has been said about poetry, all that he has learned about poetry, is only a partial assurance. -A. R. Ammons

If you want to see mankind fully, look at a family. Within the family minds become organically one, and for this reason the family is total poetry. -Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

Some say they see poetry in my paintings; I see only science. -Georges Seurat

The business of the poet is not to find new emotions, but to use the ordinary ones and, in working them up into poetry, to express feelings which are not in actual emotions at all. -T. S. Eliot

I've always had a love for poetry and when I got signed to a record label I thought, 'How odd that I'm doing a record before a book of poetry,' -Jewel

Cut quarrels out of literature, and you will have very little history or drama or fiction or epic poetry left. -Robert Staughton Lynd

That's a wonderful change that's taken place, and so most poetry today is published, if not directly by the person, certainly by the enterprise of the poet himself, working with his friends. -A. R. Ammons

Besides the actual reading in class of many poems, I would suggest you do two things: first, while teaching everything you can and keeping free of it, teach that poetry is a mode of discourse that differs from logical exposition. -A. R. Ammons

Experience has taught me, when I am shaving of a morning, to keep watch over my thoughts, because, if a line of poetry strays into my memory, my skin bristles so that the razor ceases to act. -A. E. Housman

I wrote things for the school's newspaper, and – like all teenagers – I dabbled in poetry. -Stephen Colbert

I've written for every medium except poetry, at which I suck. -J. Michael Straczynski

The completely solitary self: that's where poetry comes from, and it gets isolated by crisis, and those crises are often very intimate also. -Seamus Heaney

The fact of the matter is that the most unexpected and miraculous thing in my life was the arrival in it of poetry itself – as a vocation and an elevation almost. -Seamus Heaney

I'm sorry, man, but I've got magic. I've got poetry in my fingertips. Most of the time – and this includes naps – I'm an F-18, bro. And I will destroy you in the air. I will deploy my ordinance to the ground. -Charlie Sheen

I have written some songs, but I would really call what I've done poetry at the end of the day, because I'll sit with my guitar for hours and hours on end for, like, a week and then I won't touch it for a month. I also just have no confidence. And you know what? I don't have time, because I'd rather be doing other things, like knitting. -Amanda Seyfried

The end of poetry is not to create a physical condition which shall give pleasure to the mind… The end of poetry is not an after-effect, not a pleasurable memory of itself, but an immediate, constant and even unpleasant insistence upon itself. -Laura Riding

I work on words, mostly, toward them being poetry or short stories, and then some of those become songs. They all find their place in the world, but they all start off in the same place. I'm always painting and drawing as well, and it's an ongoing creative assignment. -P. J. Harvey

Publishing the lyric books, poetry or comics of other musicians I know. That's the thing I really want to break into! -Frank Iero

More people than ever are slowly but surely turning their ears toward poetry. -Saul Williams

I think we fool ourselves and really negate a great deal of history if we think that the oral history of poetry is shorter than the written history of poetry. It's not true. Poetry has a longer oral tradition than it does written. -Saul Williams

Society's dark hull drifts further and further away. It is this place – the place of our separation, our distinction – that much of his poetry occupies. -Tomas Transtromer

I believe the death of Bobby Kennedy was in many ways the death of decency in America. I think it was the death of manners and formality, the death of poetry and the death of a dream. -Emilio Estevez

Everyone needs solitude, especially a person who is used to thinking about what she experiences. Solitude is very important in my work as a mode of inspiration, but isolation is not good in this respect. I am not writing poetry about isolation. -Wislawa Szymborska

Unfortunately, poetry is not born in noise, in crowds, or on a bus. There have to be four walls and the certainty that the telephone will not ring. That's what writing is all about. -Wislawa Szymborska

In the language of poetry, where every word is weighed, nothing is usual or normal. Not a single stone and not a single cloud above it. Not a single day and not a single night after it. And above all, not a single existence, not anyone's existence in this world. -Wislawa Szymborska

I'm not a writer. I think I can write short stories and poetry, but film writing, brilliant film writing, is a talent – you can't just do it like that. -Samantha Morton

It's like I understand images and some people understand poetry. -Samantha Morton

I'm not really one for fancy, big words and poetry, and the scriptwriters worked very hard on 'Paradise Lost' to translate it. -Callan McAuliffe

So much of my poetry begins with something that I can describe in visual terms, so thinking about distance, thinking about how life begins and what might be watching us. -Tracy K. Smith

Solitude is very important in my work as a mode of inspiration, but isolation is not good in this respect. I am not writing poetry about isolation. -Wislawa Szymborska

I've always written. When I was in school, the only teacher who ever liked me was my creative writing teacher. I used to enter poetry competitions, and I don't think I ever lost one. So I had the idea for a while of being some kind of poet. -Justin Townes Earle

I heard Nirvana, and discovered that songs could be like poetry, but a little bit more refined: you didn't have to have 20 verses to get your point across. -Justin Townes Earle

I do actually dabble in a bit of poetry! And I'm yet to pen a script, but it is something that I've been telling myself I want to do. -Luke Treadaway

You know, in my music career there was a moment where the irony was just so heavy. There were people in my audience that were the reason I developed neuroses. These people that tortured my life were using my art, my poetry, as fuel for them, to torture other people. -Fred Durst

Those who say we should dismantle the role of Poet Laureate altogether, the trick they miss is that being called this thing, with the weight of tradition behind it, and with the association of the Royal family, does allow you to have conversations and to open doors, and wallets, for the good of poetry in a way that nothing else would allow. -Andrew Motion

I'm not precisely saying that a really good board meeting at the MLA (Museums, Libraries and Archives Coucil) makes me want to go and write poetry, but there is a pleasure in doing that sort of thing well. -Andrew Motion

I wish I'd been better able to resist the sense of obligation to write some of the poems I did. It's in the nature of commissioned work to be written too much from the side of your mind that knows what it's doing, which dries up the poetry. -Andrew Motion

This is a good time to ask apologists for the Islamic regime, who degrades Islam? Who imposes stoning, forced marriage of underage girls and flogging for not wearing the veil? Do such practices represent Iran's ancient history and culture, its ethnic and religious diversity? Its centuries of sensual and subversive poetry? -Azar Nafisi

America was based on a poetic vision. What will happen when it loses its poetry? -Azar Nafisi

I see people who talk about America, and then undermine it by not paying attention to its soul, to its poetry. I see polarization, reductionism and superficiality. -Azar Nafisi

Don't call my lyrics poetry. It's an insult to real poets. -Bernie Taupin

When you're going through something, whether it's a wonderful thing like having a child or a sad thing like losing somebody, you often feel like 'Oh my God, I'm so overwhelmed; I'm dealing with this huge thing on my own.' In fact, poetry's a nice reminder that, no, everybody goes through it. These are universal experiences. -Caroline Kennedy

The biggest problem is people are afraid of poetry, think they can't understand it or that it will be boring. -Caroline Kennedy

I never thought I'd be doing poetry books. I never really studied poetry. But the first one I did was after my mother died, and I realized that people sort of think and talk about her style and fashion, but in fact, what made her the person she was was really her love of reading and ideas. -Caroline Kennedy

I'm not an academic, but I've always loved poetry since I've been small. -Naveen Andrews

In a general way, I want to be a kind of flag-waver, bunting hanger-up, drum-beater, you name it, for poetry. -Andrew Motion

Thanks partly to the kind of poets that we now have and partly to funding, there's been a gigantic shift in the way poetry is perceived… Poems on the Underground, poets in schools, football clubs, zoos. -Andrew Motion

I wanted to reimagine the role, in a way that was respectful of its traditional responsibilities but made them part of a wider pattern of poetry about national incidents, events, preoccupations; and to spend a great deal of time going to schools trying to demystify poetry. -Andrew Motion

More people are reading poetry now than at any time in the history of the human race. -Andrew Motion

While also, importantly, not wanting to dumb it down or pretend the days of 'difficult' poetry are over, because we live in a pluralist culture and there's room for 'difficult' poetry alongside rap and everything else. And poetry won't be for everyone, but everyone should have the choice. -Andrew Motion

I think poetry is best read to oneself. -Rickie Lee Jones

I'm not a great poetry fan. -Rupert Everett

I'd never really been content with just churning out these slim volumes every three or four years. I've always tried to think of poetry as an active ingredient in the language rather than just something that appears between the covers of thin books. -Simon Armitage

People who read poetry, for example, like the feel, the heft and the smell of a book. -Simon Armitage

If you were going to choose a way of making your way in this world and a place to start from, you might not choose poetry and you might not choose Huddersfield. -Simon Armitage

I can find some way to make poetry out of my life's experiences. -Shelby Lynne

You know, people speak in poetry all the time. They just don't realize it. -Sherman Alexie

As for how criticism of Keats' poetry relates to criticism of my own work, I'll leave that for others to decide. -Jane Campion

It's necessary to start most work alone. But I'm tickled to death when I can pull somebody in or join someone, whether it's borrowing poetry or traveling with an associate. -Jenny Holzer

I don't think I've ever read poetry, ever. -Eminem

When I arrived at Columbia, I gave up acting and became interested in all things French. French poetry, French history, French literature. -Joseph Gordon-Levitt

I love romantic poetry. -Richard Dawkins

The Bible should be taught, but emphatically not as reality. It is fiction, myth, poetry, anything but reality. As such it needs to be taught because it underlies so much of our literature and our culture. -Richard Dawkins

It's not easy to define poetry. -Bob Dylan

Auden said poetry makes nothing happen. But I wonder if the opposite could be true. It could make something happen. -Carol Ann Duffy

I grew up in a bookless house – my parents didn't read poetry, so if I hadn't had the chance to experience it at school I'd never have experienced it. But I loved English, and I was very lucky in that I had inspirational English teachers, Miss Scriven and Mr. Walker, and they liked us to learn poems by heart, which I found I loved doing. -Carol Ann Duffy

I think poetry can help children deal with the other subjects on the curriculum by enabling them to see a subject in a new way. -Carol Ann Duffy

I have piles of poetry books in the bathroom, on the stairs, everywhere. The only way to write poetry is to read it. -Carol Ann Duffy

You can find poetry in your everyday life, your memory, in what people say on the bus, in the news, or just what's in your heart. -Carol Ann Duffy

On a summer night it can be lovely to sit around outside with friends after dinner and, yes, read poetry to each other. Keats and Yeats will never let you down, but it's differently exciting to read the work of poets who are still walking around out there. -Michael Cunningham

You know, bad poetry I wrote in high school can still be found on the Internet, and, you know, there's a Web log of our college newspaper. You know, there's so many different stages of my creative development are sort of on-record if somebody were to choose to look for them. -Lena Dunham

I never really liked poetry readings; I liked to read poetry by myself, but I liked singing, chanting my lyrics to this jazz group. -Leonard Cohen

I always thought that poetry is the verdict that others give to a certain kind of writing. So to call yourself a poet is a kind of dangerous description. It's for others; it's for others to use. -Leonard Cohen

I think the term poet is a very exalted term and should be applied to a man at the end of his work. When he looks back over the body of his work and he's written poetry then let the verdict be that he's a poet. -Leonard Cohen

Poetry is the language we speak in the most terrifying or ecstatic passages of our lives. But the very word poetry scares people. They think of their grade school teachers reciting 'Hiawatha' and they groan. -Erica Jong

I thought to spend my declining years writing poetry and teaching – but that won't pay the Bergdorf's bill. I think I'll move to somewhere life is cheaper. -Erica Jong

I came into music because I thought the presentation of poetry wasn't vibrant enough. So I merged improvised poetry with basic rock chords. That was my original mission. -Patti Smith

What I wanted to do in rock 'n roll was merge poetry with sonic scapes, and the two people who had contributed so much to that were Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison. -Patti Smith

I certainly derived my skills as a prose writer from my scrutiny of poetry and of the individual word. But schools don't do things like that anymore – tracking words down to their roots. -Camille Paglia

I'm conscious of a series of circles working its way through my life. And at this particular moment I have come round to the beginning of my writing cycle. It begins with poetry. There's hardly a day that goes past on which I don't write poetry. -Ben Okri

I think there are things in my story that have helped my creativity. Your father being killed, for instance, is one of the best things that could happen to a kid if he's going to write poetry or songs. -Roger Waters

The library was open for one hour after school let out. I hid there, looking at art books and reading poetry. -Lynda Barry

Every now and then I read a poem that does touch something in me, but I never turn to poetry for solace or pleasure in the way that I throw myself into prose. -J. K. Rowling

But I liked Yeats! That wild Irishman. I really loved his love of language, his flow. His chaotic ideas seemed to me just the right thing for a poet. Passion! He was always on the right side. He may be wrongheaded, but his heart was always on the right side. He wrote beautiful poetry. -Chinua Achebe

As an actor, there is room for a certain amount of creativity, but you're always ultimately going to be saying somebody else's words. I don't think I'd have the stamina, skill or ability to write a novel, but I'd love to write short stories and poetry, because those are my two passions. -Daniel Radcliffe

Maybe it is something to do with age, but I have become fonder of poetry than of prose. -Aung San Suu Kyi

Is there any purpose to translating poetry? A poem does not contain information of importance, like a signpost or a warning notice. -James Buchan

Living here on Earth, we breathe the rhythms of a universe that extends infinitely above us. When resonant harmonies arise between this vast outer cosmos and the inner human cosmos, poetry is born. -Daisaku Ikeda

It's something we, guys, have all done. Made tapes for girls, trying to impress them, to meet them on a shared plane of aesthetics. Read them someone else's poetry because they do poetry better than you could do it, because you're too awkward to do it. -John Cusack

I always wrote poetry and stuff like that, so putting songs together wasn't that spectacular. -Amy Winehouse

Well, I still write poetry, but I wouldn't call myself a poet. -David Duchovny

I was a 16-year-old girl at one point, so of course I wrote poetry. -Elizabeth Edwards

I have been enlightened. I have fallen into poetry and it has swallowed me up. -Keith Haring

I have to admit that I had a lot of problems with poetry. -Jane Campion

And, I mean, I think poetry does need to be met to some extent, especially, I guess, 19th century poetry, and for me, it's just been so worth the effort. It's like I'm planting a garden in my head. -Jane Campion

Poetry, especially traditional Iranian poetry, is very good at looking at things from a number of different angles simultaneously. -Asghar Farhadi

I find a lot of poetry to be narcissistic. -Joni Mitchell

A theology should be like poetry, which takes us to the end of what words and thoughts can do. -Karen Armstrong

Reading a piece of poetry with no beat in front of 20 people is way more challenging than rocking for 10,000 people. -Macklemore

I think it was T.S. Eliot who talked about good poetry being felt before it's understood. I believe that. There are some bands where I love their lyrics but I don't have a clue what they're on about. -Marcus Mumford

The nerds are my favourite sort of boys – any guy with a passion – whether it be physics or film or writing or poetry even, I think it's super sweet and it's very attractive for a female. -Teresa Palmer

I was trained as an actress. But I wasn't a very convincing actress, so I started doing punk poetry and then fell into doing stand-up. -Jenny Eclair

I've written poetry since I was in the first grade, and it wasn't until I was a little bit older that I realized poetry could be put to music and become a song. -Jordin Sparks

A lot of people think, 'I'll give acting or poetry or filmmaking a try. And if it doesn't work out I'll go get a law degree, do something else that's more practical.' For me I went the reverse way. I lived the back-up plan. -Brit Marling

I've been writing a lot of poetry recently. It helps me think and work things out. -Ed Westwick

Music is my thing. It's my thing; it's what I love. It's what I do. It's football to me; it's Christmas to me; religion to me; poetry to me. -Ryan Adams

One of the things I've always liked about my husband is he's very good at lots of stuff. He was an English teacher when I met him. He wrote poetry and played the guitar. As time went on, he decided to go into economics, so he's very analytical and mathematical in addition to his artsy side. -Ally Condie

Well, I like to write poetry. I'm a published poet. -Misha Collins

I don't think rap really fits in to 'American Idol' in the sense that I believe rap is an art form in itself more akin to poetry, more akin to drama, if you will. -Nigel Lythgoe

If you don't mark your successes, the day your ship comes in could be just another day at the office, and there's no poetry in that. -Glen Hansard

I have epiphanies all the time, because I'm always thinking. I'm a thinker. I'm always writing poetry, I'm always coming to conclusions. -Chrisette Michele

And I know I'm supposed to feel guilty for wanting people to buy my books… and books in general? Novels and poetry, they belong to the realm of art. How dirty of us to try to hawk art! But, after a decade of hand-wringing and apologies, I can't quite muster the guilt anymore. -Julianna Baggott

The romanticised life, where all the great poetry and music and art of the world comes from, is great but it requires a lot of self-indulgence. -Laura Marling

I read as much poetry as time allows and circumstance dictates: No heartache can pass without a little Dorothy Parker, no thunderstorm without W. H. Auden, no sleepless night without W. B. Yeats. -J. Courtney Sullivan

Reading poetry gives me a sense of calm, well-being, and love for humanity – the same stuff more flexible women get from yoga. -J. Courtney Sullivan

Fiction will always be my greatest love, with poetry close behind. -J. Courtney Sullivan

I used to joke that if acting didn't work out, poetry was my commonsense fallback. -Merritt Wever

My dad is a Jack Nicholson lookalike and a frustrated performer, my mother's into reading and poetry. I suppose the thing I owe them most is my confidence. -Michael Sheen

When I hit a block, regardless of what I am writing, what the subject matter is, or what's going on in the plot, I go back and I read Pablo Neruda's poetry. I don't actually speak Spanish, so I read it translation. But I always go back to Neruda. I don't know why, but it calms me, calms my brain. -Tea Obreht

I don't write poetry and then strum some chords and then fit the words on top of the chords. -Andrew Bird

I was kind of an outcast in school 'cause I always kept to myself and was writing poetry and then going on tour with my brother band all the time, so kids didn't know what to make of me. -Christina Perri

It was actually a women's writing group I belonged to in graduate school that gave me the courage to move from poetry to fiction. -Mary Gordon

The middle class is doing fine in fiction. But it's not what gets me going. I love the working class, and everyone from it I've met, and think they're incredibly witty, inventive – there's a lot of poetry there. -Martin Amis

Most poetry in the modern age has retreated to the private sphere, turning its back on the political realm. -Terry Eagleton

I read poetry to save time. -Marilyn Monroe

In the total darkness, poetry is still there, and it is there for you. -Abbas Kiarostami

You pick up loads of baggage with your first record with reaction to it from fans and critics. So I went to Ireland by myself for a couple of weeks with my guitar. I read lots of poetry, I read Patti Smith's autobiography and started words and phrases and then songs started to take shape. -Ellie Goulding

The poetry and transgression that was so much of surrealism's anarchic force has been recruited into mainstream culture. It has been made commonplace by television and magazine merchandising, by computer games and Internet visuals, by film and MTV, by the fashion shoot. -Graham Joyce

Naming a baby is an act of poetry, for many people the only creative moment of their lives. -Richard Eyre

Poetry's always dead, you know? You don't realize how good poetry is until 15 years later. -Richard Hell

Well, I write a lot of poetry – that's where it usually all starts. I definitely want to show you guys sides of me – love, loss, heartbreak – all of that good stuff! -Tristan Wilds

This career essentially chased me down while I was on the spoken-word scene in New York. I kept hearing that my delivery of my poetry – which was very personal and cathartic at the time- was very moving to folks. People thought that I was an actress because of my delivery, when I was just dropping into the work and really pouring out my soul. -Sonja Sohn

My father had wanted to name me for Dylan Thomas. He had seen him speak on one of those drunken poetry tours he did. -Dylan Walsh

Bad, quirky poetry might be better than some of the good stuff, because it really comes from the heart. -Cheryl Hines

When I really want to be soothed and reminded of why people bother to fiddle with sentences, I often read poetry. -Nicholson Baker

From my music training, I knew that, some Spanish rhythms apart, 5/4 is a time signature used only in the modern era. Holst's Mars from the Planets is 5/4. But if you speak lines of poetry in that pattern you just end up hitting the off-beats. It's only when you add a rest – a sixth beat – that it sounds as it surely should sound. -Nicholson Baker

So I really began as a failed poet – although when I first wanted to be a writer, I learned to write prose by reading poetry. -Nicholson Baker

I'm looking for a guy who makes you want to dance and write poetry all day long. -Angela Sarafyan

As I got older, I really got into Tupac's poetry, his books and just learning about his life and what he was into. -Jhene Aiko

I love to write poetry. -Shayne Ward

I really enjoy English and poetry and writing classes. -Taylor Momsen

Short fiction is the medium I love the most, because it requires that I bring everything I've learned about poetry – the concision, the ability to say something as vividly as possible – but also the ability to create a narrative that, though lacking a novel's length, satisfies the reader. -Ron Rash

All I knew about Ethiopia was from a few records that I like, as well as what I read about the famine. But you get there and it's another world. It's filled with art and music and poetry and intellectuals and writers – all kinds of people. -Flea

I know I'm not a wordsmith. And I don't write poetry. Sometimes I think I should, because it's really helpful. But I always wanted to write novels. -Candace Bushnell

Let my life as Poet begin. I want the life of the Poet. I have labored for over twelve years, one thousand pages of prose. Now, I want the easiness of poetry. The brevity of the poem. -Maxine Hong Kingston

Like most lit nerds, I'm a voracious reader. I never got enough poetry under my belt growing up but I do read it – some of my favorites, Gina Franco and Angela Shaw and Cornelius Eady and Kevin Young, remind me daily that unless the words sing and dance, what's the use of putting them down on paper. -Junot Diaz

Personally I always feel like I could use a little more of poetry apothegmatic power in my own work but we're always lacking something. -Junot Diaz

I read, read enormously on all different fields of Islamic thought, from philosophy to Islamic literature, poetry, exegeses, knowledge of the Hadith, the teachings of the prophet. That's how I trained myself. And then I was appointed imam by a Sufi master from Istanbul, Turkey. -Feisal Abdul Rauf

I love films. I love music. I love poetry and stories. All of that I feel… I sort of get very excited and fed by. -Ben Whishaw

I used to write stories and poetry, but for some reason I have it in my head that if I'm going to write, I have to write a script. -Melanie Lynskey

I like it when someone gives me a new book of poetry by a poet I haven't read. -Nell Freudenberger

I guess I find the boundaries between poetry and prose to be somewhat permeable. -Kevin Powers

I was actually a poetry major in college before I punted and decided to become a theater major. I wrote the poem that we put on the sauerkraut boxes in the style of Elling. -Denis O'Hare

I was a serious poet for quite a while and had little notebooks filled with poetry. -Denis O'Hare

I can recite poetry, but I cannot write it. -Irrfan Khan

I am often asked why I started to write poetry. The answer is that my motivation sprang from a visceral need to creatively articulate the experiences of the black youth of my generation, coming of age in a racist society. -Linton Kwesi Johnson

I am a writer, which means I write stories, I write novels, and I would write poetry if I knew how to. I don't want to limit myself. -Aleksandar Hemon

I wrote poetry, journals, and, especially, plays for the neighborhood kids to perform. I had an ordinary, happy childhood. Nothing much was going on, but I had fun. -Alex Flinn

I'd like to go back to poetry again. I really, really revere good poetry. It's been my private discipline. -Alice Sebold

I had always been literary, in the sense of loving poetry and discovering novels, but I found my voice, as they say, in an office full of elderly people who looked after blind ex-servicemen. -Andrew O'Hagan

I published only in academic journals in philosophy until I was in my 40s, but I had been writing fiction and poetry my whole adult life – without ever once trying to publish it, and rarely letting anyone read it. -Cheryl Mendelson

I never had much education in English poetry as such. -Anne Carson

I love to read poetry but I haven't written anything that I'm willing to show anybody. -Abraham Verghese

The idea that myth is the opposite of knowledge, or the opposite of truth, is simply to disallow it. It is like saying poetry is the opposite of truth. -Marilynne Robinson

One of the things that is wonderful about hymns is that they are a sort of universally shared poetry, at least among certain populations. -Marilynne Robinson

I think many people love poetry who don't know they love it. People are sometimes afraid of poetry, or they've been introduced to poetry that doesn't speak to them. -Ellen Bass

There's a fierce practicality and empiricism which the whole imaginative, lyrical aspect of poetry comes from. -David Whyte

Poetry is a street fighter. It has sharp elbows. It can look after itself. Poetry can't be used for manipulation; it's why you never see good poetry in advertising. -David Whyte

By definition, poetry works with qualities and dynamics that mainstream society is reluctant to face head-on. It's an interesting phenomenon that by necessity, poetry is just below the radar. -David Whyte

It is the province of poetry to be more realistic and present than the artificial narratives of an outer discourse, and not afraid of the truthful difficulty of the average human life. -David Whyte

I just discovered when I was, oh, 12 or 13, that I was very interested in language – and this showed itself as poetry. There was no looking back. -Edwin Morgan

Translated poetry filled the no-man's-land between my own work and other writers', and I found this fascinating to explore. -Edwin Morgan

My dream is that people will find a way back home, into their bodies, to connect with the earth, to connect with each other, to connect with the poor, to connect with the broken, to connect with the needy, to connect with people calling out all around us, to connect with the beauty, poetry, the wildness. -Eve Ensler

I love Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton. I also love more cerebral poets like H.D. and Emily Dickinson. My parents subscribed to a monthly poetry periodical, and as a teenager I was introduced to Denise Levertov, who was an influence. -Francesca Lia Block

My feeling is that poetry will wither on the vine if you don't regularly come back to the simplest fundamentals of the poem: rhythm, rhyme, simple subjects – love, death, war. -James Fenton

Lyric poetry is, of course, musical in origin. I do know that what happened to poetry in the twentieth century was that it began to be written for the page. When it's a question of typography, why not? Poets have done beautiful things with typography – Apollinaire's 'Calligrammes,' that sort of thing. -James Fenton

English poetry begins whenever we decide to say the modern English language begins, and it extends as far as we decide to say that the English language extends. -James Fenton

Some people think that English poetry begins with the Anglo-Saxons. I don't, because I can't accept that there is any continuity between the traditions of Anglo-Saxon poetry and those established in English poetry by the time of, say, Shakespeare. And anyway, Anglo-Saxon is a different language, which has to be learned. -James Fenton

When we study Shakespeare on the page, for academic purposes, we may require all kinds of help. Generally, we read him in modern spelling and with modern punctuation, and with notes. But any poetry that is performed – from song lyric to tragic speech – must make its point, as it were, without reference back. -James Fenton

Poetry carries its history within it, and it is oral in origin. Its transmission was oral. Its transmission today is still in part oral, because we become acquainted with poetry through nursery rhymes, which we hear before we can read. -James Fenton

Composers need words, but they do not necessarily need poetry. The Russian composer, Aleksandr Mossolov, who chose texts from newspaper small ads, had a good point to make. With revolutionary music, any text can be set to work. -James Fenton

Modernism in other arts brought extreme difficulty. In poetry, the characteristic difficulty imported under the name of modernism was obscurity. But obscurity could just as easily be a quality of metrical as of free verse. -James Fenton

A glance at the history of European poetry is enough to inform us that rhyme itself is not indispensable. Latin poetry in the classical age had no use for it, and the kind of Latin poetry that does rhyme – as for instance the medieval 'Carmina Burana' – tends to be somewhat crude stuff in comparison with the classical verse that doesn't. -James Fenton

Great poetry does not have to be technically intricate. -James Fenton

The iambic pentameter owes its pre-eminence in English poetry to its genius for variation. Good blank verse does not sound like a series of identically measured lines. It sounds like a series of subtle variations on the same theme. -James Fenton

The voice is raised, and that is where poetry begins. And even today, in the prolonged aftermath of modernism, in places where 'open form' or free verse is the orthodoxy, you will find a memory of that raising of the voice in the term 'heightened speech.' -James Fenton

One problem we face comes from the lack of any agreed sense of how we should be working to train ourselves to write poetry. -James Fenton

In the writing of poetry we never know anything for sure. We will never know if we have 'trained' or 'practised' enough. We will never be able to say that we have reached grade eight, or that we have left the grades behind and are now embarked on an advanced training. -James Fenton

My cure for writer's block is to step away from the thing I'm stuck on, usually a novel, and write something totally different. Besides fiction, I write poetry, screenplays, essays and journalism. It's usually not the writing itself that I'm stuck on, but thing I'm trying to write. So I often have four or five things going at once. -Jess Walter

For me, movies and television are interesting because they are the dominant storytelling form of our time. My first love will always be fiction, and especially novels, but I'm a writer… I write poetry and essays and criticism and I'd love to write a whole play, and sometimes I even write scripts. -Jess Walter

My poetry is the most disappointing thing for me that I've ever written. When I say I can write everything, I don't say I can write everything well. -Jess Walter

Learn poetry by heart. If you know a poem by heart, no one can take it away from you, and you can take advantage of it anytime. -Raymond Aubrac

There isn't, even now, a great tradition of novel-writing in Afghanistan. Most of the literature is in the form of poetry. -Khaled Hosseini

When I was in college, I did do some writing of poetry, somewhat inspired, I think at that time, by Carl Sandburg, because English was still relatively new to me, and Sandburg, of course, wrote in a very easy-to-understand, very colloquial and informal manner. -Lisel Mueller

Memory and poetry go together, absolutely. It is a matter of preserving and of remembering things. -Lisel Mueller

I believe in the power of poetry, which gives me reasons to look ahead and identify a glint of light. -Mahmoud Darwish

I see poetry as spiritual medicine. -Mahmoud Darwish

Against barbarity, poetry can resist only by confirming its attachment to human fragility like a blade of grass growing on a wall while armies march by. -Mahmoud Darwish

Some people ask, 'How do you attract the young and so many different people when your poetry is complicated and different?' I say, 'My accomplishment is that my readers trust me and accept my suggestions for change.' -Mahmoud Darwish

To be under occupation, to be under siege, is not a good inspiration for poetry. -Mahmoud Darwish

The importance of poetry is not measured, finally, by what the poet says but by how he says it. -Mahmoud Darwish

I am an artist, you understand? For me, a picture is like poetry. When you make art, this is not coming from an intellectual place. It's coming from the deep side of your unconscious, your soul. -Alejandro Jodorowsky

The poem is not, as someone put it, deflective of entry. But the real question is, 'What happens to the reader once he or she gets inside the poem?' That's the real question for me, is getting the reader into the poem and then taking the reader somewhere, because I think of poetry as a kind of form of travel writing. -Billy Collins

Often people, when they're confronted with a poem, it's like someone who keep saying 'what is the meaning of this? What is the meaning of this?' And that dulls us to the other pleasures poetry offers. -Billy Collins

There are interesting forms of difficulty, and there are unprofitable forms of difficulty. I mean, I enjoy some difficult poetry, but some of it is impenetrable and I actually wouldn't want to penetrate it if I could, perhaps. -Billy Collins

Radio is such a perfect medium for the transmission of poetry, primarily because there just is the voice, there's no visual distraction. -Billy Collins

Listeners are kind of ambushed… if a poem just happens to be said when they're listening to the radio. The listener doesn't have time to deploy what I call their 'poetry deflector shields' that were installed in high school – there's little time to resist the poem. -Billy Collins

I entered a poem in a poetry contest around 1987, and the poem won and I received $1,000 for it. That made me realize that maybe what I was writing was worth reading to people. After that, for some reason, I turned to novels and I've written mainly novels ever since. -Sharon Creech

How much money you get, depends on lots of extraneous things. It depends on how good you are at turning poetry into a marketable product, which is something it was never supposed to be. That's why many people suppose that the better the poet you are the lower your income should be, and that's probably true. -Robert Bringhurst

I think of something quite different from a snapshot. I know of a lot of poems, some very fine ones, that are like snapshots, but I'm more interested in poetry that is like an endless film, long stories, things that weave together many different strands, like a big piece of cloth, not like a photograph. -Robert Bringhurst

If our hearts are ready for anything, we are touched by the beauty and poetry and mystery that fill our world. -Tara Brach

I think what will happen is that fiction will become more like poetry. As in, the only people who read it will write it. -Gary Shteyngart

In high school I was very much involved in poetry. You cannot read a poem quickly. There's too much going on there. There are rhythms and alliterations. You have to read poetry slow, slow, slow to absorb it all. -Eugene H. Peterson

The short story seems like the best of all possible worlds. I do feel it is closer to writing poetry than to writing a novel, with its requirements of concentration and economy. -James Lasdun

Oh, I wish I organized my books. But I don't. I'm not an organized person. The best I can do is put the books I really like in one sort of general area, and poetry in another. -Elizabeth Strout

As human beings, we are the only organisms that create for the sheer stupid pleasure of doing so. Whether it's laying out a garden, composing a new tune on the piano, writing a bit of poetry, manipulating a digital photo, redecorating a room, or inventing a new chili recipe – we are happiest when we are creating. -Gary Hamel

I did literature at university, so I had a real relationship with poetry, but they don't make many films about the world of a poet. -Alice Eve

Prose cannot compete with the economy of poetry, the ability to have a full artistic experience in a short period of time. -Mary Karr

Plagiarism has been around far longer than the Internet. In fact, I had a poem published in 'Seventeen' magazine when I was 15 years old. About a year later I was informed that there was a girl who used that same poem to win a statewide poetry competition in Alabama. It took months for people to put together that this had happened. -Megan McCafferty

I think poetry is the only domain where a writer you like can truly be said to influence you, because you read and reread a poem so many times that it simply drills itself into your head. -Michel Houellebecq

Sufi poetry is, in a sense, self-help poetry about how to live a decent life, how to deal with your mortality. -Mohsin Hamid

As far as I am concerned, poetry is a statement concerning the human condition, composed in verse. -N. Scott Momaday

As a direct line to human feeling, empathic experience, genuine language and detail, poetry is everything that headline news is not. It takes us inside situations, helps us imagine life from more than one perspective, honors imagery and metaphor – those great tools of thought – and deepens our confidence in a meaningful world. -Naomi Shihab Nye

I enjoy listening to contemporary rock on the college stations while I'm taking long walks, love gospel and soul music, am fascinated by hip-hop and rap as the new kind of urban 'beat' poetry and, come to think of it, find something interesting about just any kind of music. -Oscar Hijuelos

When you're writing fiction or poetry… it really comes down to this: indifference to everything except what you're doing… A young writer could do worse than follow the advice given in those lines. -Raymond Carver

I like to give and get basically anything (I love to read) but especially fiction and poetry. -Suzan-Lori Parks

I joined the army on my seventeenth birthday, full of the romance of war after having read a lot of World War I British poetry and having seen a lot of post-World War II films. I thought the romantic presentations of war influenced my joining and my presentation of war to my younger siblings. -Walter Dean Myers

Muhammadan law in its relation to women, is a pattern to European law. Look back to the history of Islam, and you will find that women have often taken leading places – on the throne, in the battle-field, in politics, in literature, poetry, etc. -Annie Besant

The flame that is naturally clear always gives the most light and heat. If I could blend my talent for poetry and music into one, the light would burn still clearer, and I might go far. -Robert Schumann

To different minds, poetry may present different phases. To me, the reverent faith of the people I lived among, and their faithful everyday living, was poetry; blossoms and trees and blue shies were poetry. God himself was poetry. -Lucy Larcom

Gradually I find that my whole soul is merging itself into this business of writing, and especially of writing poetry. I am going to try it; and am going to test, in the most rigid way I know, the awful question whether it is my vocation. -Sidney Lanier

I have frequently noticed in myself a tendency to a diffuse style; a disposition to push my metaphors too far, employing a multitude of words to heighten the patness of the image, and so making of it a conceit rather than a metaphor, a fault copiously illustrated in the poetry of Cowley, Waller, Donne, and others of that ilk. -Sidney Lanier

It is certain that at certain times talent entirely overcomes thought or poetry. -John Singer Sargent

The growth of art seems to be in cycles, and often its vigorous lifetime is restricted to a century or two. The periods of distinctive drama, Greek, English, Spanish, fall within such a limit; the schools of painting and sculpture likewise; and, in poetry, the Victorian age or the school of Pope will serve as examples. -George Edward Woodberry

Shakespeare has been praised in English more than anything mortal except poetry itself. Fame exhausts thought in his eulogy. -George Edward Woodberry

I spent many years of my life as an economist and demographer. I was finally distracted by writing my novels and poetry. I'm enormously happy that was the case. I feel that with writing I have found my metier. -Vikram Seth

You have to learn a few things, which you do along the way, but basically, poetry is a matter of the ear. Iambic pentameters or what constitutes a stanza comes naturally – your ears will know. -Vikram Seth

Why do writers, say, give up a job in economics and decide to write poetry? Or, why do they give up a job in a bank and decide to paint, like Krishan Khanna? They want to convey something. -Vikram Seth

Poetry, I think, intensifies the reader's experience. If it's a humorous facet of the story, poetry makes it more exuberant. If it's a sad facet, poetry can make it more poignant. -Vikram Seth

Everyone sort of sees his own life and times as being ephemeral. One thinks that everything good or important that happened, happened in the past. But I think that seeing scenes that you are used to, but with the heightening effects of poetry, perhaps makes you value your life and times more than you might otherwise do. -Vikram Seth

Those books of mine that are remunerative – I'm not talking about poetry here – take years to write, and I am never sure they'll be successful. So writing is a risk in more senses than one. -Vikram Seth

You know, I can imagine not writing a novel and writing poetry only. -Vikram Seth

I really love poetry. I'm a big E.E. Cummings fan and a big Walt Whitman fan, and I have a big book of poetry. -Mae Whitman

On a practical level, poetry isn't something anybody has really made a great living at. I might sell some books and, once in a while, someone might pay to hear me read. -Viggo Mortensen

Whatever brief delights it provides, mere strangeness in poetry and prose eventually leaves us cold, especially when we suspect the writer is stretching for effect to avoid the actual life before his eyes. -Roger Rosenblatt

I've often said that all poetry is political. This is because real poems deal with a human response to reality and politics is part of reality, history in the making. Even if a poet writes about sitting in a glass house drinking tea, it reflects politics. -Yehuda Amichai

Students often have such a lofty idea of what a poem is, and I want them to realize that their own lives are where the poetry comes from. The most important things are to respect the language; to know the classical rules, even if only to break them; and to be prepared to edit, to revise, to shape. -Yusef Komunyakaa

Poetry helps me understand who I am. It helps me understand the world around me. But above all, what poetry has taught me is the fact that I need to embrace mystery in order to be completely human. -Yusef Komunyakaa

I define poetry as celebration and confrontation. When we witness something, are we responsible for what we witness? That's an on-going existential question. Perhaps we are and perhaps there's a kind of daring, a kind of necessary energetic questioning. Because often I say it's not what we know, it's what we can risk discovering. -Yusef Komunyakaa

I wanted to write poetry almost a little more than I wanted to eat. -Paul Engle

I had a strong propensity, which I still have, to be invisible. In grade school, I'd try to disappear and become formless. I lived in a very imaginary world. I loved poetry and wrote my first novel when I was 9. It was about a little girl and the people she met in the woods. -Amanda Plummer

I don't want to bury anything in poetry. -Sharon Van Etten

I like to write poetry. -Rebecca Ferguson

The poetry I grew up on is really an intense form of poetry; it's so pure and powerful. -K'naan

Thomas Davis was a great man where poetry is concerned, and a better than Thomas Moore. All over Ireland his poetry is, and he would have done other things but that he died young. -Lady Gregory

What can a pencil do for all of us? Amazing things. It can write transcendent poetry, uplifting music, or life-changing equations; it can sketch the future, give life to untold beauty, and communicate the full-force of our love and aspirations. -Adam Braun

There is no gender to my music. There's no male or female voice, no trite lyrics or poetry. It's much more abstract, so it lives with you longer. -Yanni

You can be intuitive when you've got a more expansive role. You can get into the poetry of telling the story rather than just pushing buttons. -Willem Dafoe

Now, to read poetry at all is to have an ideal anthology of one's own, and in that possession to be incapable of content with the anthologies of all the world besides. -William Ernest Henley

To design is much more than simply to assemble, to order, or even to edit: it is to add value and meaning, to illuminate, to simplify, to clarify, to modify, to dignify, to dramatize, to persuade, and perhaps even to amuse. To design is to transform prose into poetry. -Paul Rand

I liked painting and drawing, and I liked humanities mainly – poetry, literature – this speculative attitude toward life. -Rafael Moneo

Sometimes poetry, it is incomprehensible. But we need incomprehensible stuff! It is very healthy to talk about incomprehensible things! It is very healthy! We need it! -Roberto Benigni

Fiction and poetry are my first loves, but the really beautiful lyrical essay can do so much that other forms cannot. -Chris Abani

My wife has been my greatest earthly inspiration. She excels in eloquence, the poetry of words, empathy and graciousness. -George W. Romney

For me, poetry was… the fastest way to express what I was feeling, what I was going through. -Shane Koyczan

Not all poetry wants to be storytelling. And not all storytelling wants to be poetry. But great storytellers and great poets share something in common: They had something to say, and did. -Sarah Kay

Romantic poetry had its heyday when people like Lord Byron were kicking it large. But you try and make a living as a poet today, and you'll find it's very different! -Alan Moore

I always wrote poetry as a teenager and it was always so dark, but it made me feel good to get it out. -Pink

Gregory Corso used to get really pissed when people called Bob Dylan a 'poet.' After writing poetry for a few years, I can understand that. -Steve Earle

Becoming interested in poetics got me interested in theater. Theater is supposed to be poetry, you know, before it's anything else. It just doesn't fly if it isn't musical. -Steve Earle

Photography, painting or poetry – those are just extensions of me, how I perceive things; they are my way of communicating. -Viggo Mortensen

I have a publishing company of books by me and books of others. It drew people to poetry readings and photo exhibitions and painting exhibitions that I've been doing for years before that. -Viggo Mortensen

One of my greatest joys is poetry. I read it almost every day, and I've even taken a stab at writing some of my own. A poem I wrote for my mother when she was dying really helped me get through that hard time. -Maria Shriver

Poems have a different music from ordinary language, and every poem has a different kind of music of necessity, and that's, in a way, the hardest thing about writing poetry is waiting for that music, and sometimes you never know if it's going to come. -C. K. Williams

When you begin to write poems because you love language, because you love poetry. Something happens that makes you write poems. And the writing of poems is incredibly pleasurable and addictive. -C. K. Williams

I think poetry always lives its life, and people come to it and people go away from it, 'people' in the sense of larger numbers of people. It's as though you begin to think that poetry is a resource, and that at certain times people seem to need it or want it or can find sustenance in it, and at other times they can't. -C. K. Williams

My father read poetry to me, encouraged me to memorize poems. But the writing of it was quite a different thing. -C. K. Williams

If you've ever been to a poetry slam, you know that the highest scoring emotion is self-righteous indignation: how dare you judge me. So in that way, the poem, 'What Teachers Make,' is an absolutely formulaic slam poem designed to allow me to get up on my soap box and say, 'Let me tell you what really makes me angry.' -Taylor Mali

You don't have to live in a garage to write great poetry. -Felix Dennis

I want to prove that if you write in strict meter and rhyme about subjects people care about, they will buy poetry. -Felix Dennis

I am absolutely convinced that my life was redeemed by poetry. -Felix Dennis

No poetry that I'm aware of, however bad or glorious, has ever left somebody a worse person than they were before they read it. -Felix Dennis

With a poetry book I can send 100 copies out to reviewers and other people, and even do it in advance and get their response. It's difficult with iPad: how do you send it out for free, and how do you even disseminate it before it goes into their store? -Felix Dennis

Without touching my subject I want to come to the moment when, through pure concentration of seeing, the composed picture becomes more made than taken. Without a descriptive caption to justify its existence, it will speak for itself – less descriptive, more creative; less informative, more suggestive – less prose, more poetry. -Ernst Haas

I have been writing poetry since 1975. My first poetry book was published in 1986. -Taslima Nasrin

Rap and spoken word have reawakened the country to poetry in itself. Texting and Twitter encourage creative uses of casual language, in ways I have celebrated widely. But we've fallen behind on savoring the formal layer of our language. -John McWhorter

The reason why we do maths is because it's like poetry. It's about patterns, and that really turned me on. It made me feel that maths was in tune with the other things I liked doing. -Marcus du Sautoy

What is beautiful enchants me. I mean not just physical beauty but a wider concept of beauty. There is beauty in poetry and in great musical or singing performances. There is beauty everywhere if you can just see it. -Andrea Bocelli

I wrote poetry, which got me into lyrics. Stevie Wonder, Carole King, Elton John pulled me into pop. I started singing with a band – just for fun – when I was 17. And pretty soon, I was thinking I could sing pop in English as well as Spanish. -Gloria Estefan

People compose poetry, novels, sitcoms – for love. -Helen Fisher

I think the first time I really heard poetry was in the schoolyard. Just the little limericks that kids say when they're jumping rope and playing games. I think that's the first time I heard rhyming words – I don't know if I'd call that the definitive poetry, but that's when I heard rhyming words said and not necessarily sung. -Jill Scott

The obsessions of others are opaque to the unobsessed, and thus easy to mock. NASCAR, jazz, baseball, roses, poetry, quilts, fishing. If we're lucky, we all have at least one. -Roberta Smith

Metaphorical tone deafness is when people are unable to discern what is of value in something. I think I'm tone deaf to poetry, for instance. Despite having studied it into a second year of university, most of it just leaves me cold. -Julian Baggini

Do-gooders are easily overlooked. We're supposed to be soft, touchy-feely types, who wear Birkenstocks, compost everything, and write poetry by candlelight. -Nancy Lublin

One culture I find fascinating to juxtapose against American culture is the culture of Germany. They've gone through a long process through their art, poetry, public discourse, their politics, of owning the fact of their complicity in what happened in World War II. It's still a topic of everyday conversation in Germany. -Chris Jordan

All poetry is an ordered voice, one which tries to tell you about a vision in the un-visionary language of farm, city, and love. -Paul Engle

I began to write poetry in high school, and would ride miles over sandy roads in the fine hills around Cedar Rapids, repeating the lines over and over until I had them right, making some of the rhythm of the horse help. -Paul Engle

Istanbul is inspiring because it has its own code of architecture, literature, poetry, music. -Christian Louboutin

I've always written poetry and lyrics. My first husband, who was a musician, we wrote a bunch of songs together. -P. J. Soles

Making love is, simply put, poetry in motion. -Wale

Without poetry, stories would be told in sepia. -Ellen Hopkins

I write poetry anyway and have for years and years. For me, putting fiction and poetry together is like the best of both worlds. -Ellen Hopkins

And at some point I would like to talk my publisher into doing an anthology of my poetry alongside some teen readers' poetry. It would be fun, and really wonderful to get their stuff out there. -Ellen Hopkins

Comedy was something I picked up trying to perfect my art through spoken word. I got on YouTube just to show off my poetry, and then people thought I was funny, so I ran with it. -Spoken Reasons

I've written poetry since I was a kid. As the years went on, I got into writing stories and screenplays, but I always, always kept up with poetry as well. -Blake Jenner

I want to write a play. I'd like to do an original musical. I should probably put together a poetry collection. -Neil Gaiman

One thing I do know is that poetry, to be understood, must be clear. -Mary Oliver

People want poetry. They need poetry. They get it. They don't want fancy work. -Mary Oliver

When I am writing fiction, I believe I am much better organized, more methodical – one has to be when writing a novel. Writing poetry is a state of free float. -Margaret Atwood

The genesis of a poem for me is usually a cluster of words. The only good metaphor I can think of is a scientific one: dipping a thread into a supersaturated solution to induce crystal formation. I don't think I solve problems in my poetry; I think I uncover the problems. -Margaret Atwood

I don't think of poetry as a 'rational' activity but as an aural one. My poems usually begin with words or phrases which appeal more because of their sound than their meaning, and the movement and phrasing of a poem are very important to me. -Margaret Atwood

In a way I spend my entire life stealing from everything – from the past, from cities I love, from where I grew up – grabbing things, taking not only from architecture but from Italy, art, writing, poetry, music. -Renzo Piano

When I rap, I get to express myself in a way where putting words together is like poetry, and sometimes it's better to talk in certain expressions than sing, you know? So I love, I love to rhyme when I want to express certain things. -Wyclef Jean

I don't want to, in any way, characterize a race or a people or get accused of racial profiling, but the Irish, as lyrical and romantic as they can be in their poetry, they can be every bit as repressed in their personal relations. -Stephen Lang

Poetry is something I love to do. Good poetry has an amazing ability to be communicative before it's even understood. I get emotional just from the beauty of words. -Daniel Radcliffe

I don't think I'd have the stamina, skill or ability to write a novel, but I'd love to write short stories and poetry, because those are my two passions. -Daniel Radcliffe

I learn poetry, learn text, and that really keeps you alive. -Anthony Hopkins

I guess the thing that I'm most proud of is that I kept on writing poetry. I understand that poetry is sort of the source of everything I do. It's the source of my creativity. -Erica Jong

Often I find that poems predict what I'm going to do later in my own writing, and often I find that poems predict my life. So I think poetry is the most intense expression of feeling that we have. -Erica Jong

In poetry you can express almost inexpressible feelings. You can express the pain of loss, you can express love. People always turn to poetry when someone they love dies, when they fall in love. -Erica Jong

What are the sources of poetry? Love and death and the paradox of love and death. All poetry from the beginning is about Eros and Thanatos. Those are the only subjects. And how Eros and Thanatos interweave. -Erica Jong

I liked to write from the time I was about 12 or 13. I loved to read. And since I only spoke to my brother, I would write down my thoughts. And I think I wrote some of the worst poetry west of the Rockies. But by the time I was in my 20s, I found myself writing little essays and more poetry – writing at writing. -Maya Angelou

I wrote some of the worst poetry west from the Mississippi River, but I wrote. And I finally sometimes got it right. -Maya Angelou

The poetry you read has been written for you, each of you – black, white, Hispanic, man, woman, gay, straight. -Maya Angelou

I know some people might think it odd – unworthy even – for me to have written a cookbook, but I make no apologies. The U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins thought I had demeaned myself by writing poetry for Hallmark Cards, but I am the people's poet so I write for the people. -Maya Angelou

My father loved poetry and music. But deep in himself he thought teaching the finest thing a person could do. -George Steiner

We're all just animals. That's all we are, and everything else is just an elaborate justification of our instincts. That's where music comes from. And romantic poetry. And bad novels. -Elvis Costello

When you write, it's just a much more crystalline, compressed version of the voice you think with – though not the one you speak with. I think your writing voice is your laser-guided missile. It's the poetry part of you. -Douglas Coupland

When the poet is in love, he is incapable of writing poetry on love. He has to write when he remembers that he was in love. -Umberto Eco

The sentences I write have their roots in song and poetry, and take their bearings from music and painting, as much as from the need to impart mere information, or mirror anything. I am not a realist writer, even if I seem like one. -Colm Toibin

I liked Yeats! That wild Irishman. I really loved his love of language, his flow. His chaotic ideas seemed to me just the right thing for a poet. Passion! He was always on the right side. He may be wrongheaded, but his heart was always on the right side. He wrote beautiful poetry. -Chinua Achebe

I think the novel is not so much a literary genre, but a literary space, like a sea that is filled by many rivers. The novel receives streams of science, philosophy, poetry and contains all of these; it's not simply telling a story. -Jose Saramago

In Lithuania, I am known as a poet, and they don't care about my cinema. In Europe, they don't know my poetry; in Europe, I am a filmmaker. But here, in the United States, I am only a maverick! -Jonas Mekas

In a meadow full of flowers, you cannot walk through and breathe those smells and see all those colors and remain angry. We have to support the beauty, the poetry, of life. -Jonas Mekas

Hip-hop is about the brilliance of pavement poetry. -Michael Eric Dyson

Lyrical poetry is not a big part of most people's lives. Twitter now becomes an interesting way of getting cared for language into people's space. Because there is something deep inside of us that responds to cared for language, whether it's literary, poetry, or really good lyrics in a song. -Teju Cole

I like poetry when I don't quite understand why I like it. Poetry isn't just a question of wrapping something up and giving it to someone else to unwrap. It just doesn't work like that. -Mark Haddon

I always loved singing and writing poetry. I always loved music, and I've loved writing my whole life. When I put them together, it was probably in my early 20s where I put words to music for the first time. -Lisa Marie Presley

I think one of the things that people tend to forget is that poets do write out of life. It isn't some set piece that then gets put up on the shelf, but that the impetus, the real instigation for poetry is everything that's happening around us. -Rita Dove

Nothing is too small. Nothing is too, quote-unquote, ordinary or insignificant. Those are the things that make up the measure of our days, and they're the things that sustain us. And they're the things that certainly can become worthy of poetry. -Rita Dove

I did not move into developing or processing color. I stayed with black and white. I still think to this day that I prefer to work in black and white if it has to do with poetry or anything other than specific reality. I have worked in color when I thought it was the appropriate way to express the thought that I was working on. -Leonard Nimoy

My favourite room in my house is easily the top room, which is a bedroom but also a bathroom, with a big, wooden carved bath, two huge fireplaces and a raised bit in the corner for performances. I've had some really lovely parties and poetry readings up there. -Deborah Moggach

I'm a storyteller: the crux of the matter is to reach beauty, poetry; it doesn't matter if that is comedy or tragedy. They're the same if you reach the beauty. -Roberto Benigni

I started out in life as a poet; I was only writing poetry all through my 20s. It wasn't until I was about 30 that I got serious about writing prose. While I was writing poems, I would often divert myself by reading detective novels; I liked them. -Paul Auster

When you are writing literary writing, you are communicating something subtextual with emotions and poetry. The prose has to have a voice; it's not just typing. It takes a while to get that voice. -Joyce Carol Oates

I've been reading poetry publicly for 20 years, and this is what you do – you express, you sometimes dig a bit to get a conversation started. That's the point of poetry. You're supposed to go, 'Hmmmm,' and 'Woooh!' -Jill Scott

I was reading poetry to my girlfriends, and they were like, 'You're really good. You should go to some poetry readings or something.' And I eventually went and got a, you know, somewhat of a name for myself and a little bit of a following. -Jill Scott

Drawing is a way of coming upon the connection between things, just like metaphor in poetry reconnects what has become separated. -John Berger

I've been writing since I was 10 or 11. I started with poetry because that was the easiest thing. It just kind of came naturally. I think at that time West Coast hip hop was huge; all these kids around me were like, 'I want to be a rapper.' But I'm a white girl, not going to be a rapper. -Sasha Grey

The residue of religion in my work appears as a modified transcendentalism, and the positivist scientific side of my thought appears as concreteness and realism. The effort to reconcile the two is at the core of all my poetry. -Louis Dudek

I don't like the word 'poetry,' and I don't like poetry readings, and I usually don't like poets. I would much prefer describing myself and what I do as: I'm kind of a curator, and I'm kind of a night-owl reporter. -Tom Waits

I began my writing life as a poet, so poetry has always been fundamental. I evolved from poetry to journalism to stories to novels. But poetry was always there. -Ben Okri

I felt like my favorite writers have almost musical hooks in their work, whether it's poetry or a hook at the end of a chapter that makes you want to read the next one. And I think that my favorite writers definitely have something musical about what they do, in saying something so relatable and universal and so simple. -Taylor Swift

When I was in college, I really liked poetry. I don't read much anymore. -Steve Martin

On the subject of literary genres, I've always felt that my response to poetry is inadequate. I'd love to be the kind of person that drifts off into the garden with a slim volume of Elizabethan verse or a sheaf of haikus, but my passion is story. -J. K. Rowling

Few rappers realize the genre sprang from West African griots through Delta slave songs to jazz poetry and the comedic trash talk of 'the dozens.' -Quincy Jones

A play is basically a long, formalistic polemic. You can write it without the poetry, and if you do, you may have a pretty good play. We know this because we see plays in translation. Not many people speak Norwegian or Danish or whatever guys like Ibsen spoke, or Russian – yet we understand Chekhov and the others. -David Mamet

I come from a short fiction background, and my mom is a poet, so I've always read poetry; I've always had a lot of different influences both linguistically and musically. -Lorde

My first book was poetry, but I didn't write it first. I wrote it third. So my first two books were prose. -Tao Lin

I began writing early – very, very early… I was already writing short stories for the radio and selling poems to poetry and art festivals; I was involved in school plays; I wrote essays, so there was no definite moment when I said, 'Now I'm a writer.' I've always been a writer. -Wole Soyinka

I'm not sure about prizes. I don't know how far you can seriously raise public consciousness about poetry. Having a 'National Poetry Day,' like a 'No Smoking Day,' is just shelving the problem. Things which should by rights be every day are not best served by these things. -John Fuller

When I began, poetry was very academic. You published little pamphlets from fancy presses. It was rather… chaste. There wasn't much public reading. Then there was poetry and jazz, which I don't think worked, though I love jazz. -John Fuller

It's always good to show that poetry isn't the little depressed lyric people believe it to be, that it's something bigger. -John Fuller

I saw the Village as a place you could escape to, to express yourself. When I first went there, I wrote and performed poetry. Then I drew portraits for a couple of years. It took a while before I thought about picking up a guitar. -Richie Havens

There's a certain line between jokes and music and poetry that's a bit blurred in my mind. -Bo Burnham

The poetry of Walt Whitman. I can return again and again to these magnificent poems and still get pleasure from reading them. -Robert Littell

I was completely devoted to reading and books from the age of seven. It took until I was 18 to have the confidence to write poetry. -Christopher Koch

I have not the slightest pretension to call my verses poetry; I write now and then for no other purpose than to relieve depression or to improve my English. -Alfred Nobel

My work should be seen as poetry. -Robert Wilson

It just happens to be that people like to associate poetry and rap music. I think that idea is kind of corny. -Earl Sweatshirt

I think rap music is rap music. I mean, are there heavy writing aspects of it? Absolutely. In a sense, is it poetry? Yeah. I've heard that so much, growing up in a house with poetry. But I think people like to use that as a shortcut for who's good and who's not. It's like the word 'lyrical' – 'lyrical' is the worst word in the entire world. -Earl Sweatshirt

There's poetry in being the band that can sell out Wembley but also makes a record in a garage. I don't like doing what people expect me to do. -Dave Grohl

I recently read that it's the left brain that does all that calculating, and the right brain that does the poetry. Somehow I've veered way towards the left. I've been doing it for years. Maybe I do art to balance it out. -Jason Mraz

Granted, I'm someone who loves words. I've always loved poetry – so it's suited to me. -Aimee Bender

I'm a failed poet. Reading poetry helps me to see the world differently, and I try to infuse my prose with figurative language, which goes against the trend in fiction. -Jesmyn Ward

I was really drawn to spoken-word style poetry. I loved the rhythms, and for some reason, I was just drawn to this poetry as a way of expressing my feelings, because I didn't have any other outlet. -Matt de la Pena

We explore our environment, more than we are compelled to utter poetry, when we're toddlers. We start doing that later. Before that happens, every child is a scientist. -Neil deGrasse Tyson

Let's say intelligence is your ability to compose poetry, symphonies, do art, math and science. Chimps can't do any of that, yet we share 99 percent DNA. Everything that we are, that distinguishes us from chimps, emerges from that one-percent difference. -Neil deGrasse Tyson

I like to think that the best poetry is or involves a contest between ordinary conversation and ritual. -Miller Williams

I don't like poetry that doesn't give me a sense of ritual, but I don't like poetry that doesn't sound like people talking to each other. I try to do both at once. -Miller Williams

For something to be useful to the spirit is not very valuable to get your covered wagon across the desert. We have adopted that attitude so thoroughly that any American father whose son tells him he wants to write poetry will be embarrassed. -Miller Williams

I don't think that I ever believed that poetry would be a career. I have always thought of poems as something more private than professional… I would never introduce myself as a poet. I will always have some other thing that I am. -Dana Goodyear

More modern poetry is written than read. -P. J. O'Rourke

There's a love of rhetorical skill in the Muslim world. Osama bin Laden doesn't just go on tape cassettes and say, 'America sucks.' He recites poetry; he finds things that 'America sucks' rhymes with. -P. J. O'Rourke

It could be that all awful dictators are frustrated artists – Mao with his poetry and Mussolini with his monuments. Stalin was once a journalistic hack, and I can personally testify to how frustrated they are. Pol Pot left a very edgy photo collection behind. And Osama seems quite interested in video. -P. J. O'Rourke

I definitely used to write a lot at school. Comic poetry and drawings about people. -Sally Phillips

I want to be the best advocate and promoter for poetry that I can be. -Natasha Trethewey

From the catbird seat, I've found poetry to be the necessary utterance it has always been in America. -Natasha Trethewey

Dismissals of poetry are nothing new. It's easy to dismiss poetry if one has not read much of it. -Natasha Trethewey

The experience of poetry could bring my mother back to me. Poetry offers a different kind of solace – here on earth. -Natasha Trethewey

The first thing I tried to do in the months after losing my mother was to write a poem. I found myself turning to poetry in the way so many people do – to make sense of losses. And I wrote pretty bad poems about it. But it did feel that the poem was the only place that could hold this grief. -Natasha Trethewey

I think I felt at some point that I couldn't understand poetry or that it was beyond me or it didn't speak to my experience. I think that was because I hadn't yet found the right poems to invite me in. -Natasha Trethewey

I think there is a poem out there for everyone, to be an entrance into the poetry and a relationship with it. -Natasha Trethewey

My father, Eric Trethewey, is a poet, so I had one right inside the house. And on long trips, he'd tell me, if I got bored in the car, to write a poem about it. And I did find that poetry was a way for me, I think as it for a lot of people, to articulate those things that seem hardest to say. -Natasha Trethewey

I think poetry's always a kind of faith. It is the kind that I have. -Natasha Trethewey

Even though I am the daughter of a poet, and my stepmother is also a poet, growing up, I didn't think I could understand poetry; I didn't think that it had any relevance to my life, the feelings that I endured on a day-to-day basis, until I was introduced to the right poem. -Natasha Trethewey

I think people turn to poetry more often than they think they do, or encounter it in more ways than they think that they do. I think we forget the places that we encounter it, say, in songs or in other little bits and pieces of things that we may have remembered from childhood. -Natasha Trethewey

I think the biggest thing that I have to do is to remind people that poetry is there for us to turn to not only to remind us that we're not alone – for example, if we are grieving the loss of someone – but also to help us celebrate our joys. That's why so many people I know who've gotten married will have a poem read at the wedding. -Natasha Trethewey

'NewsHour' is very interested in poetry, but they're also interested in not just that something's cute to add on at the end of their programming, but something that actually is integrated into the news. -Natasha Trethewey

I've been most happy to be an advocate for the kinds of grassroots things that people are doing who care about poetry. -Natasha Trethewey

I keep trying to define 'poetry,' but it's so difficult. -Jack Gleeson

I've been surprised to learn how many people love poetry. It's beautiful to see that people want poetry in their lives. -Peleg Top

In medicine as well as in romantic poetry, it is the heart that is the center and controlling mechanics of life. If the heart stops, life stops. The loss of sight doesn't not mean death. Yet for ages, the eyes was believed to contain a human being's vital essence – a not wholly irrational belief. -Henry Grunwald

I don't think I've ever read poetry, ever. I'm not really book-smart. -Eminem

Twentieth-century American poetry has been one of the glories of modern literature. -Helen Vendler

I would like to spend more time with Spanish poetry. I know French better than Spanish, but Spanish was my first language, and my father spoke it to us. -Helen Vendler

If you like the precision and concision of poetry, a page of prose is unsatisfying in a certain way. And poetry is so direct. -Helen Vendler

At eight, I made a commitment to poetry. Until then, I thought I'd be a policeman. But I went a whole night without sleeping, and the next day the world had changed. It needed a different language. -Alice Oswald

One night, I lay awake for hours, just terrified. When the dawn finally came up – the comfortable blue sky, the familiar world returning – I could think of no other way to express my relief than through poetry. I made a decision there and then that it was what I wanted to do. Every time I pulled a wishbone, it was what I asked for. -Alice Oswald

If you put a real leaf and a silk leaf side by side, you'll see something of the difference between Homer's poetry and anyone else's. There seem to be real leaves still alive in the 'Iliad,' real animals, real people, real light attending everything. -Alice Oswald

One of the rules of Greek lament poetry is that it mustn't mention the dead by name in case of invoking a ghost. Maybe the 'Iliad,' crowded with names, is more than a poem. Maybe it's a dangerous piece of the brightness of both this world and the next. -Alice Oswald

I think it's often assumed that the role of poetry is to comfort, but for me, poetry is the great unsettler. It questions the established order of the mind. It is radical, by which I don't mean that it is either leftwing or rightwing, but that it works at the roots of thinking. -Alice Oswald

I can't understand Urdu, Bahasa or Russian, but when the Pakistani Faiz, the Indonesian Rendra and the Russian Rosdentvensky declaim, I can feel the living throb of rhythm and music, the warmth and passion of their poetry, as do the hundreds, not a mere roomful, of poetry lovers in the audience. -F. Sionil Jose

I am for poetry that is admired by peasant and aristocrat alike. -F. Sionil Jose

I read pretty eclectically – fiction, non-fiction, and poetry – and I've been inspired and influenced by a number of writers. -Barry Eisler

I go to the gym, do some martial arts, and I love poetry. I have a tattoo of my family crest, and another on my back that says 'The Road Not Taken,' which is a poem by Robert Frost. -Steven R. McQueen

For me, I used to be shy towards journalism because it wasn't poetry. And then I realized that the events that I covered in essays that became journalism were actually great because they inspired me, and they became my muse. -Alice Walker

I'm quite a softy, yes. I have a blank spot with respect to visual art, but I have perhaps a compensating hypersensitivity to poetry and music. -Richard Dawkins

The Bible is not just one book, but an entire library, with stories, songs, poetry, letters and history, as well as literature that might more obviously qualify as 'religious.' -John Drane

Only those ignorant of what poetry means will ask the question: what is it good for? -Orson F. Whitney

It is my belief that many who think they dislike poetry are really poetical in their natures and are indebted to it, more than they imagine, for the success they may have achieved, even in practical pursuits, and for the enjoyment their lives have afforded them. -Orson F. Whitney

The commonest error made in relation to poetry is that it consists simply in verse-making. Many confound the casket of meter and rhyme with the jewel of thought which it encloses, and, perhaps, in some instances, after close investigation, they have found the casket empty and turned away with feelings of disappointment and disgust. -Orson F. Whitney

Spoken word poetry is the art of performance poetry. I tell people it involves creating poetry that doesn't just want to sit on paper, that something about it demands it be heard out loud or witnessed in person. -Sarah Kay

My first spoken word poem, packed with all the wisdom of a 14-year-old, was about the injustice of being seen as unfeminine. The poem was very indignant, and mainly exaggerated, but the only spoken word poetry that I had seen up until that point was mainly indignant, so I thought that that's what was expected of me. -Sarah Kay

I love all kinds of music. My dad's from London, so he loves David Bowie, the Stones, The Clash. I grew up with that influence while loving poetry and loving all kinds of current music. -Adam Hicks

Most of the time, as an artist, I can be self-indulgent, fulfilling my own impulses, embracing imagery that contains poetry on my own terms, without immediate regard to an audience or the particular placement of my finished work. -Clifford Ross

I think that I have less conviction than ever that poetry matters – that poetry changes or saves anything or anyone. But, in fact, that's tremendously freeing. If it doesn't matter much, the stakes are lower and you can't really fail. It's insurrection. It's a tiny alphabet revolution. A secret. A psalm. -Daphne Gottlieb

Writing poetry, which for me was then saying how I felt about this and that, didn't help me to understand the world I lived in. -Grace Paley

I developed a definition – which I think becomes less and less accurate as poetry moves into the world – that poetry was a way of speaking to the world, but fiction was a way to get the world to speak to me. -Grace Paley

Somehow, the words don't have any vitality, any life to them, unless I can feel it marking on a paper. That's how I start. Once I'm off, then I switch to the laptop. I think it would all just be prose if it started on a laptop – not that what I do is poetry. -Simon Schama

As a schoolboy, poetry seemed defined by preciousness. It was all very rarefied. -Simon Schama

The difficulty with poetry is that it doesn't have the life that Shakespeare or Jane Austen have beyond the page. You can't make a costume drama out of it. There's no place for it to go except trapped inside its little book. -Simon Schama

History gives you insight of the same quality of truth as poetry or philosophy or a novel. -Simon Schama

Italian is the language of song. German is good for philosophy and English for poetry. French is best at precision; it has a rigour to it. -Maurice Druon

I have been in love with Emily Dickinson's poetry since I was 13, and, like an anonymous post on findagrave.com says, 'Dear Emily – I hope I have understood.' Emily's poems are sometimes difficult, often abstract, on occasion flippant, but her mind is inside them. -Helen Oyeyemi

I have a deep and ongoing love of Iceland, particular the landscape, and when writing 'Burial Rites,' I was constantly trying to see whether I could distill its extraordinary and ineffable qualities into a kind of poetry. -Hannah Kent

I think book clubs should read more contemporary poetry. -Chang-Rae Lee

I see poetry as a path toward new understanding and transformation, and so I've looked at specific poems I love, and at poetry's gestures in the broadest sense, in an effort to feel and learn what they offer from the inside. -Jane Hirshfield

I find in my poetry and prose the rhythms and imagery of the best – I mean, when I'm at my best – of the good Southern black preachers. The lyricism of the spirituals and the directness of gospel songs and the mystery of blues are in my music or in my poetry and prose, or I missed everything. -Maya Angelou

Human beings love poetry. They don't even know it sometimes… whether they're the songs of Bono, or the songs of Justin Bieber… they're listening to poetry. -Maya Angelou

I've always written. There's a journal which I kept from about 9 years old. The man who gave it to me lived across the street from the store and kept it when my grandmother's papers were destroyed. I'd written some essays. I loved poetry, still do. But I really, really loved it then. -Maya Angelou

America's liberal arts universities have long been safe zones for leftist thinking, protected ivory towers for the pseudo-elite who earn their livings writing papers nobody reads about gender roles in the poetry of Maya Angelou. -Ben Shapiro

I sometimes wish I had been educated a Catholic, in order to unite the poetry of religion with its higher principles. Are they necessarily inseparable? Is man really so much of a philosopher, that he can conceive of truth in its abstract purity, and divest life and the affections of all the aids of the imagination? -James Fenimore Cooper

Fiction is supposed to be immersive and supposed to be entertaining and narrative, so structures have to be buried a little bit. If they come foregrounded too much, it stops being fiction and starts being poetry – something more concrete and out of time. -Eleanor Catton

A song is a short composition for voice and instruments. It is a piece of sung poetry set to music. It is usually only a few minutes long. -Russell Smith

Being able to say something lyrically, to say something that will do more than just be words, is really hard. It's easy to do when you're writing a chapter of a book or writing poetry, but it's really hard to do when you're confined to a melody line. -Nikki Sixx

I love the simple poetry of theater, where you can stand in a spotlight on a stage and wrap a coat around you, and say, 'It was 1860 and it was winter…' -Gary Oldman

Hebrew as a contemporary language, especially for poetry, is no longer the language of the Bible; but neither is it not the language of the Bible. -Cynthia Ozick

I play guitar; you'll find me at home strumming 'Vincent' on the guitar. I also read a lot of poetry, and Shakespeare was my first love, which was why I got into acting. A lot of the fighters are intelligent! -Dave Legeno

Poetry, just because it is poetry, doesn't mean it is some kind of magic spell. -Franz Wright

When I'm not working, I'm on the road with my band. Or I'm performing in poetry houses doing spoken work. So I've got another passion and another outlet that allows me to be creatively fulfilled and not sitting at home pulling my hair out waiting for the right role to come along. -Malcolm-Jamal Warner

What's the function of poetry? It's to express general truths, to connect with the reader and make him think: 'Wow, I've experienced that, but you've expressed it so much better.' -Giles Andreae

'Words and Music' on Radio 3 is always a treat. Actors read passages of poetry and prose interspersed with music, and nobody tells you what it is. Later you can look it up online, but at the time you can't cheat. -Claire Tomalin

When the modern movement began, starting perhaps with the paintings of Manet and the poetry of Baudelaire and Rimbaud, what distinguished the modern movement was the enormous honesty that writers, painters and playwrights displayed about themselves. The bourgeois novel flinches from such notions. -J. G. Ballard

I did a weird thing when I was about 24. For four years I had written quite a lot of poetry, and I started reading through it and thought some of it was really good. So I burnt it all. -Cliff Curtis

Anybody serious about poetry knows how hard it is to achieve anything worthwhile in it. -Seamus Heaney

The experimental poetry thing is not my thing. It's a programme of the avant-garde: basically a refusal of the kind of poetry I write. -Seamus Heaney

The experiment of poetry, as far as I am concerned, happens when the poem carries you beyond where you could have reasonably expected to go. -Seamus Heaney

In the United States, in poetry workshops, it's now quite a thing to make graduate students learn poems by heart. -Seamus Heaney

In Northern Ireland, helicopters are not usually used to promote poetry. -Seamus Heaney

In poetry, everything can be faked but the intensity of utterance. -Seamus Heaney

In a way, Anglo-Saxon poetry cannot be translated. -Seamus Heaney

In a war situation or where violence and injustice are prevalent, poetry is called upon to be something more than a thing of beauty. -Seamus Heaney

If poetry and the arts do anything, they can fortify your inner life, your inwardness. -Seamus Heaney

We go to poetry, we go to literature in general, to be forwarded within ourselves. -Seamus Heaney

Tom Sleigh's poetry is hard-earned and well founded. I great admire the way it refuses to cut emotional corners and yet achieves a sense of lyric absolution. -Seamus Heaney

Nowadays, what an award gives is a sense of solidarity with the poetry guild, as it were: sustenance coming from the assent of your peers on the judging panel. -Seamus Heaney

Dylan Thomas is now as much a case history as a chapter in the history of poetry. -Seamus Heaney

As a kid, I loved 'Godot' because of the poetry and the humor and the strangeness, but then as you get older, it's much more resonant. -Nathan Lane

I admire 'Adventure Time' for being a piece of art in the way that I think art should be. If you want to see it is poetry, you can, and if you don't, you can watch a fun cartoon. -Rebecca Sugar

I teach a lecture course on American poetry to as many as 150 students. For a lot of them, it's their only elective, so this is their one shot. They'll take the Russian Novel or American Poetry, so I want to give them the high points, the inescapable poets. -Robert Hass

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