Words to Live By: 55+ Inspirational Quotes from Poetry

Sometimes, all I need is a powerful poetry quote to change my day’s trajectory.

I have compiled a broad collection of English literature bits to share on your social media status or feed. Not all the quotes below are poetry perse, but James Tate once put it, “Poetry is everywhere, it just needs editing.”

Some of the sections are from ancient philosophers, others are by the classical writers we all love, and there are few you have certainly never read before by a new generation of young writers from all around the world. Feel free to share these powerful poetry quotes with your friends on social media, or better yet, allow them to inspire you to write your next great masterpiece.

I hope you find the pick-me-up you seek somewhere between these lines. Please note that they are in no particular order or genre, remember to credit the authors should you repost their works. Happy writing:

56 Poetry Quotes

1 “What is now proved was once only imagined”- William Blake.

2 “May I write words more naked than flesh, stronger than bone, more resilient than sinew, sensitive than nerve. “- Sappho.

3 “when seasons change, the tree never asks dead leaves to stay…”- Masetšhaba Jo’hanna Monoge

4 ” Even the weariest river, Winds somewhere safe to sea.”- The book of Chinese poetry

5 “The greatest among us truly believe they are a work in progress forever, and they are entitled to nothing, and better than no one.”- Matt Higgins

6 “Being happy is a myth; I believe in being less sad” -SM.

7 “Remember”, says the sage, “that one day without a sight of your books causes you to lose the result of three months’ labour.”- The Book Of Chinese Poetry.

8 “Solitude is for me a fount of healing which makes my life worth living. Talking is often a torment for me, and I need many days of silence to recover from the futility of words” –Carl Jung.

9 “You wake up every morning to fight the same demons that left you so tired the night before, and that, my love, is bravery.”- Anonymous.

10 “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.”- Sun Tzu.

11 “A poet looks at the world the way a man looks at a woman.” – Wallace Stevens.

12 “Know how to listen, and you will profit even from those who talk badly.”- Plutarch.

13 “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”- Sylvia Plath.

14 “Art is nothing but bits and pieces of them and their tragedy”- Shreya Maurya.

15 “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced”- James Baldwin.

16 “The winter of your heart will never win against the summer of your soul”- Modise Sekgothe.

17 “One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving”- Paulo Coelho.

18 “Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken”- Albert Camus.

19  “l would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only. I would like to be that unnoticed and necessary.”- Margaret Atwood

20  “I have held onto you so long, I forgot my heart too, belongs to me first”- Grace Storm

21 “She says, ‘funerals are like birthday parties, expect better. No one wastes money on presents, and everyone dresses up for the theme.’ “- Phil Kaye

22 “Of all the violence I have known in my life. I have not known violence like the way I have spoken to myself”- Andrea Gibson

 23 “We need so much less than we take. We owe so much more than we give”- Andrea Gibson.

 24 “There is no god higher than truth”-   Mahatma Gandhi

25 “All true poets write by ear, not by counting syllables”- Gerald Bullett

26  “Yesterday we were love letters. Today, we are ‘return to sender.’ Tomorrow, we will be sorry”- Tulips and torment. 

27  “Dance is proof she loves herself, no questions, no music required, no crowd needed”- Porsha Olayiwola 

28 “I bet you have a sunset all to yourself, Sniffing and humming at your feet, I bet your sky would never think to leave”- Belita Andre.

29 “That’s what life is like for people like you and me. We’re constantly destroying and rebuilding ourselves”- Paulo Coelho

 30 “When I die, bury me standing, because I’ve spent all my life on my knees”- Ancient Gypsy Proverb.

31 “Trying to convince my shadow that I’m someone worth following. I edit my life story, hide behind metaphors”- Rudy Francisco.

32  “Dry are the words, until they’re dipped in poetry”- Notepad Poetry.

33 “To my fellow artists, Remember,  Art is a weapon, not the war”- Guante.

34 “I forgive you, self, for all the years I could not love you”- Desireé Dallagiacomo.

35  “I have stopped bringing flowers to the grave of the teenager I used to be”- Blythe Baird.

36 “No one tells you how easy it is to fall in love or how hard it is to stay there”- Emi Mahmoud. 

37 “Single is everything in bed. Everything but company.”- Sabrina Benaim.

38 “Let us love with souls, as ocean deep and quiet flows, of lakes in spring. Let us love as through, death itself was dead”- Sifiso Mtshali.

 39 “You are still alive. Act like it”- Rudy Francisco

40 “And I only know how to be an ocean. I do not know how to pour myself in drops. Perhaps you should learn how to swim here– my love may drown you.

overflow.” – Grace Storm

41  “These bones I carry were borrowed from women much stronger than I. Know that when you need them, you can borrow mine”- Nichole McElhaney.

42 “I keep my mouth closed with your name engraved at the back of my front teeth, I don’t smile a lot because strangers will learn where I keep you eternally.”- Tshediso Seroki.

43 “I tell them there is a future in words. I show them my past, the dirt I crawled through, the voice I stumbled on”- Matthew Cuban Hernandez. 

44 “Yes, you’ll rise from the ashes, but the burning comes first. For this part, darling, You must be brave.”- Kalen Dion.

45 “You fell in love with my flowers and not my roots, so when Autumn came you didn’t know what to do.”- Foenki Nani.

46 “Poets are angels beaconing the audience to heaven. To have them see the divine footprints within themselves”- Nkosinathi Ntini.

47  “I hope my daughter never bears her soul at a poetry showcase with her first love sitting in the audience, knowing that the hands he’ll use to applaud her with will be the same hands that will never hold her again”- Jasmine mans.

48 “My bed feels like a coffin. I struggle to walk out of each morning. Instead, I lie there mourning, my seventh death this week. Yet none brought me flowers.”- Mosima Phakane.

49 “Throw me off the edge, I will make a sky out of the ground and break into stars”- Kalkidan Getnet

50 “If you don’t lock your windows at night, sadness can creep in and lay next to you”- Rachel “Raych” Jackson.

 51 “Survival is a loud prayer screaming you back to existence”- Jonathan Lefenya

52 “You have mastered the art of building a broken smile into a theme park”- Thuthukani Myeza

53 “A girl      a spoon    a large plate

Seven children       each with spoons

Only       she       is     left      hungry”- Vangile Gantsho.

54 “A good seed, planted even in poor soil, will bear rich fruit by its own nature”- Accius.

55 “If you don’t like someone’s story, write your own”- Chinua Achebe.

56 “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.

Which quote spoke to you the most? Or were they a few? Please feel free to let me know down in the comments section below. Like I said earlier, some of these poetry quotes are by relatively unknown writers and poets so if you would like me to profile them or share more of their works, I would be happy to do so.

If you are an aspiring writer, I have also compiled a list of 52 poetry prompts to inspire your next great poem. Don’t forget to follow us on social media and subscribe to our magazine never to miss a future article. Credit to Zandile “The Unnatural” Carol for her immense contribution to this article.