famous quotes on poetry

Because who doesn’t love a good quote on poetry (or on anything else, for that matter)?


“Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.”

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792 – 1822)


“Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity.”

William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850)


“Well, write poetry, for God’s sake, it’s the only thing that matters.”

– e. e. cummings (1894 – 1962)


“Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”

– G.K. Chesterton (1874 – 1936)


“I have never started a poem yet whose end I knew. Writing a poem is discovering.”

“A poem begins with a lump in the throat.”

– Robert Frost (1874 – 1963)


“At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.”

– Plato (427 – 347 B.C.)

robert graves

“A perfect poem is impossible. Once it had been written, the world would end.”

— Robert Graves (1895 – 1985)


“Poetry is what happens when nothing else can.”

Charles Bukowski (1920 – 1994)


“Poetry fettered fetters the human race.”

William Blake (1757 – 1827)

Emily Dickinson

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

Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886)


“Poetry should surprise by a fine excess and not by singularity—it should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance.”

John Keats (1795 – 1821)


“Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.”

Edgar Allen Poe (1809 – 1849)


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

Kahlil Gibran (1883 – 1931)


“Poetry is the universal language which the heart holds with nature and itself.”

William Hazlitt (1778 – 1830)


“Poetry might be defined as the clear expression of mixed feelings.”

W.H. Auden (1907 – 1973)


“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”

Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519)


“Always be a poet, even in prose.”

Charles Baudelaire (1821 – 1867)

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