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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 ]

For florid prose, nor honied lies of rhyme,
  Can blazon evil deeds, or consecrate a crime.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Childe Harold (canto I, st. 3)

The fatal facility of the octosyllabic verse.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Corsair (preface)

Poetry is the attempt which man makes to render his existence harmonious.
      - Thomas Carlyle

There is no heroic poem in the world but is at bottom a biography, the life of a man.
      - Thomas Carlyle

Poetry, therefore, we will call Musical Thought.
      - Thomas Carlyle, Heroes and Hero Worship

For there is no heroic poem in the world but is at bottom a biography, the life of a man; also, it may be said, there is no life of a man, faithfully recorded, but is a heroic poem of its sort, rhymed or unrhymed.
      - Thomas Carlyle,
        Sir Walter Scott--London and Westminster Review

Poetry, good sir, in my opinion, is like a tender virgin, very young and extremely beautiful, whom divers other virgins--namely, all the other sciences--make it their business to enrich, polish, and adorn; and to her it belongs to make use of them all, and on her part to give a lustre to them all.
      - Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra)

The poet may say or sing, not as things were, but as they ought to have been; but the historian must pen them, not as they ought to have been, but as they really were.
      - Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra)

Poetry reveals to us the loveliness of nature, brings back the freshness of youthful feeling, revives the relish of simple pleasures, keeps unquenched the enthusiasm which warmed the spring-time of our being, refines youthful love, strengthens our interest in human nature, by vivid delineations of its tenderest and softest feelings, and, through the brightness of its prophetic visions, helps faith to lay hold on the future life.
      - William Ellery Channing

Poetry is the music of thought, conveyed to us in music of language.
      - Paul Chatfield (a/k/a Horace Smith)

Take the commonplace, clean and polish it, light it so that it produces the same effect of youth and freshness and spontaneity as it did originally, and you have done a poet's job.
      - Jean Cocteau

A poet ought not to pick nature's pocket; let him borrow, and so borrow as to repay by the very act of borrowing. Examine nature accurately, but write from recollection, and trust more to your imagination than to your memory.
      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

I wish our clever young poets would remember my homely definitions of prose and poetry; that is, prose = words in their best order; poetry = the best words in the best order.
      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Poetry has been to me its own exceeding great reward; it has given me the habit of wishing to discover the good and beautiful in all that meets and surrounds me.
      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Poetry is certainly something more than good sense, but it must be good sense, just as a palace is more than a house, but it must be a house.
      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Poetry is the blossom and the fragrance of all human knowledge, human thoughts, human passions, emotions, language.
      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Prose--words in their best order;--poetry--the best words in their best order.
      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Table Talk

In the hexameter rises the fountain's silvery column:
  In the pentameter aye falling in melody back.
      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
        The Ovidian Elegiac Metre

Poetry is unfallen speech. Paradise knew no other, for no other would suffice to answer the need of those ecstatic days of innocence.
      - Abraham Coles

Poetry, the eldest sister of all arts, and parent of most.
      - William Congreve

Most people do not believe in anything very much and our greatest poetry is given to us by those who do.
      - Cyril Connolly

The art of poetry is to touch the passions, and its duty to lead them on the side of virtue.
      - William Cowper

Made poetry a mere mechanic art.
      - William Cowper, Table Talk (l. 654)

Feel you the barren flattery of a rhyme?
  Can poets soothe you, when you pine for bread,
    By winding myrtle round your ruin'd shed?
      - George Crabbe, The Village (bk. I)

Poesy is of so subtle a spirit, that in the pouring out of one language into another it will evaporate.
      - Sir John Denham

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