101 quotes about poetry

Introducing 101 Delightful Quotes About Poetry

These are our favourite 101 quotes about poetry from writers, poets and other notable figures from recent history. Use them to inspire your next great adventure, share them with a close friend, or spread the love across your social media!

"Poetry is an act of peace."

– Pablo Neruda

"Poetry is plucking at the heartstrings, and making music with them."

― Dennis Gabor
Dennis Gabor
Dennis Gabor

"Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash."

― Leonard Cohen

"Poetry can be dangerous, especially beautiful poetry, because it gives the illusion of having had the experience without actually going through it."

― Rumi

"Poetry is truth in its Sunday clothes."

― Joseph Roux

"Poetry is frosted fire."

– J. Patrick Lewis

"Poetry is everywhere; it just needs editing."

– James Tate

"Like a piece of ice on a hot stove the poem must ride on its own melting."

– Robert Frost

"Poetry is a language in which man explores his own amazement."

– Christopher Fry

"If you can’t be a poet, be the poem."

– David Carradine

"There is something about poetry beyond prose logic, there is mystery in it, not to be explained but admired"

- Ashly Lorenzana

"Poets are soldiers that liberate words from the steadfast possession of' definition"

– Eli Khamarov

"Poetry is the robe, the royal apparel, in which truth asserts its divine origin."

— Beecher

"Don’t use the phone. People are never ready to answer it. Use poetry."

― Jack Kerouac

"There is not a particle of life which does not bear poetry within it."

― Gustave Flaubert

"Writing poetry is a state of free float."

― Margaret Atwood

"Poetry lies its way to the truth."

– John Ciardi

“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

“When I began to listen to poetry, it’s when I began to listen to the stones, and I began to listen to what the clouds had to say"

— Joy Harjo

“To me, art begets art. Painting feeds the eye just as poetry feeds the ear, which is to say that both feed the soul.”

— Susan Vreeland

“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

“The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth.”

— Jean Cocteau

“Poetry and beauty are always making peace. When you read something beautiful you find coexistence; it breaks walls down.”

— Mahmoud Darwish
Mahmoud Darwish
Mahmoud Darwish

“Poetry comes from the highest happiness or the deepest sorrow.”

— A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

"Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.”

— Virginia Woolf

“One should always be drunk. That’s all that matters…But with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you chose. But get drunk.”

— Charles Baudelaire

“It was at that age, that poetry came in search of me.”

—Pablo Neruda

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

— Emily Dickinson

"A good poem helps to change the shape of the universe, helps to extend everyone’s knowledge of himself and the world around him.”

— Dylan Thomas

" Poets are shameless with their experiences: they exploit them."

— Friedrich Nietzsche

"Always be a poet, even in prose."

— Charles Baudelaire

“Poetry is emotion put into measure. The emotion must come by nature, but the measure can be acquired by art.”

— Thomas Hardy

"All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling."

— Oscar Wilde

"Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down."

— Robert Frost

"Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal. "

— T.S. Eliot

"A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness."

— Robert Frost

“It is a test [that] genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.”

— T. S. Eliot
T. S. Eliot
T. S. Eliot

“Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.”

— Percy Bysshe Shelley

“Poetry is the journal of the sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air. Poetry is a search for syllables to shoot at the barriers of the unknown and the unknowable. Poetry is a phantom script telling how rainbows are made and why they go away.”

— Carl Sandburg

"For us to be poets today, it means we are trusted with something very big. And we should count ourselves as the most blessed"

— Sifiso Mtshali

"A poet can survive everything but a misprint."

— Oscar Wilde

“The poet is the priest of the invisible.”

— Wallace Steven

“I would define ... the Poetry of words as The Rhythmical Creation of Beauty.”

— Edgar Allan Poe

"Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary."

— Khalil Gibran

"Everything you invent is true: you can be sure of that. Poetry is a subject as precise as geometry."

— Julian Barnes

"Poets are the sense, philosophers the intelligence of humanity."

— Samuel Beckett

"Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history."

— Plato

"That's what poetry is—
A painting in the mind.
Without palette and brush
it mixes words into images."

— Phoebe Hesketh

"A poem is a painting that is not seen;
A painting is a poem that is not heard"

— Phoebe Hesketh

“Poetry is emotion, passion, love, grief—everything that is human. It is not for zombies by zombies.”

— F. Sionil Jose

“Poetry is a way of taking life by the throat.”

—Robert Frost

“Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.”

— Carl Sandburg

“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

“Poetry is one of the ancient arts, and it begins as did all the fine arts, within the original wilderness of the earth.”

— Mary Oliver

“Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.”

— Rita Dove

"Poetry is the lifeblood of rebellion, revolution, and the raising of consciousness" — Alice Walker

— Alice Walker

" If poetry comes not as naturally as the leaves to a tree it had better not come at all."

– John Keats

"You will never be alone with a poet in your pocket."

– John Adams

"Poetry is what is lost in translation. It is also what is lost in interpretation."

– Robert Frost

"In the house of poetry nothing endures that is not written with blood to be heard with blood."

– Pablo Neruda

"Poetry is thoughts that breathe, and words that burn."

– Thomas Gray

"Poetry is a religion with no hope."

– Jean Cocteau

"Prose is a museum where all the old weapons of poetry are kept. "

– T. E. Hulme

"Painting is silent poetry, poetry is eloquent painting."

– Simonides

"Poetry is life distilled."

– Gwendolyn Brooks
Gwendolyn Brooks
Gwendolyn Brooks

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

– Raymond Chandler

"Poetry is not the books in the library. Poetry is the encounter of the reader with the book, the discovery of the book."

– Jorge Luis Borges

"Poetry should be great and unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one’s soul."

– John Keats

"Poetry must be new as foam, and as old as the rock."

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Poetry is about as much a ‘criticism of life’ as red-hot iron is a criticism of fire."

– Ezra Pound

"Poetry is the liquid voice that can wear through stone."

– Adrienne Rich
Adrienne Rich
Adrienne Rich

"Poetry is to prose as dancing is to walking."

– John Wain

"Poetry is a religion with no hope."

– Jean Cocteau

“Poetry is just evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.”

— Leonard Cohen

“There is not a particle of life which does not bear poetry within it.”

— Gustave Flaubert

“The best poems say with words that which can’t be said with words.”

— Rob Jacques

“In the end, the poem is not a thing we see; it is, rather, a light by which we may see—and what we see is life.”

— Robert Penn Warren
Robert Penn Warren
Robert Penn Warren

“Dear Reader, beware. You think you’re reading my poems, but in truth, they are reading you. My words are mirrors and windows. Your reaction is merely a reflection of your own nature and experiences.”

— John Mark Green

“I think that we’re beginning to remember that the first poets didn’t come out of a classroom, that poetry began when somebody walked off of a savanna or out of a cave and looked up at the sky with wonder and said, “Ahhh.” That was the first poem.”

— Lucille Clifton

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