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[ Also see Authors Burns, Robert Fancy Holmes, Oliver Wendell Homer Imagination Milton, John Poetry Sandburg, Carl Shakespeare Songs Visions Wordsworth, William Writers ]

I learn life from the poets.
      - Madame de Stael (Baronne Anne Louise Germaine de Stael-Holstein)

I learnt life from the poets.
      - Madame de Stael (Baronne Anne Louise Germaine de Stael-Holstein),
        Corinne (bk. XVIII, ch. V)

A poet must sing for his own people.
      - Edmund Clarence Stedman

The poet is a creator, not an iconoclast, and never will tamely endeavor to say in prose what can only be expressed in song.
      - Edmund Clarence Stedman

The poet who does not revere his art, and believe in its sovereignty, is not born to wear the purple.
      - Edmund Clarence Stedman

A poet looks at the world as a man looks at a woman.
      - Wallace Stevens

The poet makes silk dresses out of worms.
      - Wallace Stevens

With no companion but the constant Muse,
  Who sought me when I needed her--ah, when
    Did I not need her, solitary else?
      - Richard Henry Stoddard, Proem (l. 87)

The Poet in his Art
  Must intimate the whole, and say the smallest part.
      - William Wetmore Story, The Unexpressed

Then, rising with Aurora's light,
  The Muse invoked, sit down to write;
    Blot out, correct, insert, refine,
      Enlarge, diminish, interline.
      - Jonathan Swift, On Poetry

Unjustly poets we asperse:
  Truth shines the brighter clad in verse,
    And all the fictions they pursue
      Do but insinuate what is true.
      - Jonathan Swift, To Stella

Villon, our sad bad glad mad brother's name.
      - Algernon Charles Swinburne,
        Ballad of Francois Villon

To have read the greatest works of any great poet, to have beheld or heard the greatest works of any great painter or musician, is a possession added to the best things of life.
      - Algernon Charles Swinburne,
        Essays and Studies--Victor Hugo--L'Annee Terrible

The source of each accordant strain
  Lies deeper than the Poet's brain.
    First from the people's heart must spring
      The passions which he learns to sing;
        They are the wind, the harp is he,
          To voice their fitful melody,--
            The language of their varying fate,
              Their pride, grief, love, ambition, hate,--
                The talisman which holds inwrought
                  The touchstone of the listener's thought;
                    That penetrates each vain disguise,
                      And brings his secret to his eyes.
      - Bayard Taylor

The Poet's leaves are gathered one by one,
  In the slow process of the doubtful years.
      - Bayard Taylor,
        Poet's Journal--Third Evening

I do but sing because I must,
  And pipe but as the linnets sing.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, In Memoriam (XXI, 6)

The poet in a golden clime was born,
  With golden stars above;
    Dower'd with the hate of hate, the scorn of scorn,
      The love of love.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, The Poet

For now the Poet cannot die,
  Nor leave his music as of old,
    But round him ere he scarce he cold
      Begins the scandal and the cry.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson,
        To -----, after Reading a Life and Letters
         (st. 4)

A bard here dwelt, more fat than bard becomes
  Who void of envy, guild and lust of gain,
    On virtue still and nature's pleasing themes
      Poured forth his unpremeditated strain.
      - James Thomson (1), Castle of Indolence
         (canto I, st. 68)

Poets lose half the praise they should have got,
  Could it be known what they discreetly blot.
      - Edmund Waller, Miscellanies,
        upon the Earl of Roscommon's translation of Horace "Ars Poetica", l. 41

God on his throne is
  Eldest of Poets,
    Unto His measures
      Moveth the Whole.
      - Sir William Watson (2), England, My Mother
         (pt. II)

He saw wan Woman toil with famished eyes;
  He saw her bound, and strove to sing her free.
    He saw her fall'n; and wrote "The Bridge of Sighs";
      And on it crossed to immortality.
      - Sir William Watson (2), Hood

Threadbare his songs seem now, to lettered ken:
  They were worn threadbare next the hearts of men.
      - Sir William Watson (2), Longfellow

A dreamer of the common dreams,
  A fisher in familiar streams,
    He chased the transitory gleams
      That all pursue;
        But on his lips the eternal themes
          Again were new.
      - Sir William Watson (2), The Tomb of Burns

It was Homer who inspired the poet.
      - Francis D.D. Wayland,
        The Iliad and the Bible

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