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POETRY
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[ Also see Art Authorship Ballads Books Criticism Fancy Imagination Literature Music Philosophy Plagiarism Poets Prose Quotations Reading Romance Shakespeare Songs Style Words Writing ]

Poetry is truth dwelling in beauty.
      - Robert Gilfillan

What makes poetry? A full heart, brimful of one noble passion.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

All lyrical work must, as a whole, be perfectly intelligible, but in some particulars a little unintelligible.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,
        Maxims and Reflections

There is as much difference between good poetry and fine verses, as between the smell of a flower-garden and of a perfumer's shop.
      - Augustus William Hare

Poetry is the key to the hieroglyphics of nature.
      - A.W. Hare and J.C. Hare

All that is worth remembering of life is the poetry of it.
      - William Hazlitt (1)

The essence of poetry is will and passion.
      - William Hazlitt (1)

Lyrical poetry is much the same an every age, as the songs of the nightingales in every spring-time.
      - Heinrich Heine

To write a verse or two, is all the praise
  That I can raise.
      - George Herbert, The Church--Praise

A verse may finde him who a sermon flies,
  And turn delight into a sacrifice.
      - George Herbert,
        The Temple--The Church Porch

An artist that works in marble or colors has them all to himself and his tribe; but the man who moulds his thoughts in verse has to employ the materials vulgarized by everybody's use, and glorify them by his handling.
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Poetry uses the rainbow tints for special effects, but always keeps its essential object in the purest light of truth.
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

For dear to gods and men is sacred song.
  Self-taught I sing; by Heaven and Heaven alone,
    The genuine seed of poesy are sown.
      - Homer ("Smyrns of Chios"), The Odyssey
         (bk. XXII, l. 382), (Pope's translation)

Verses devoid of substance, melodious trifles.
  [Lat., Versus inopes rerum, nugaeque canorae.]
      - Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus),
        Ars Poetica (322)

Where there are many beauties in a poem I shall not cavil at a few faults proceeding either from negligence or from the imperfection of our nature.
  [Lat., Ubi plura nitent in carmine, non ego paucis
    Offendar maculis, quas aut incuria fudit,
      Aut humana parum cavit natura.]
      - Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus),
        Ars Poetica (351)

Let your poem be kept nine years.
  [Lat., Nonumque prematur in annum.]
      - Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus),
        Ars Poetica (388)

A comic matter cannot be expressed in tragic verse.
  [Lat., Versibus exponi tragicis res comica non vult.]
      - Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus),
        Ars Poetica (89)

It is not enough that poetry is agreeable, it should also be interesting.
  [Lat., Non satis est pulchra esse poemata, dulcia sunto.]
      - Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus),
        Ars Poetica (99)

In the hands of genius, the driest stick becomes an Aaron's rod, and buds and blossoms out in poetry. Is he a Burns? the sight of a mountain daisy unseals the fountains of his nature, and he embalms the "bonny gem" in the beauty of his spirit. Is he a Wordsworth? at his touch all nature is instinct with feeling; the spirit of beauty springs up in the footsteps of his going, and the darkest, nakedest grave becomes a sunlit bank empurpled with blossoms of life.
      - Henry Norman Hudson

Poetry is the breath of beauty.
      - Leigh Hunt (James Henry Leigh Hunt)

Poetry is evidently a contagious complaint.
      - Washington Irving

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

To tell of disappointment and misery, to thicken the darkness of futurity, and perplex the labyrinth of uncertainty, has been always a delicious employment of the poets.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

Wheresoe'er I turn my view,
  All is strange, yet nothing new:
    Endless labor all along,
      Endless labor to be wrong:
        Phrase that Time has flung away;
          Uncouth words in disarray,
            Trick'd in antique ruff and bonnet,
              Ode, and elegy, and sonnet.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature"),
        Parody of the style of Thomas Warton

The essence of poetry is invention; such invention as, by producing something unexpected, surprises and delights.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature"),
        The Lives of the English Poets--Life of Waller


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