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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's unnat'ral; no man ever talked poetry 'cept a beadle on boxin' day.
      - Charles Dickens

Why then we should drop into poetry.
      - Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend
         (bk. I, ch. V)

I intended an Ode
  And it turn'd to a Sonnet.
      - Austin Dobson

When the brain gets as dry as an empty nut,
  When the reason stands on its squarest toes,
    When the mind (like a beard) has a "formal cut,"--
      There is a place and enough for the pains of prose;
        But whenever the May-blood stires and glows,
          And the young year draws to the "golden prime,"
            And Sir Romeo sticks in his ear a rose,--
              Then hey! for the ripple of laughing rhyme!
      - Henry Austin Dobson,
        The Ballad of Prose and Rhyme

Poetry is a counterfeit creation, and makes things that are not, as though they were.
      - Dr. John Donne

Heroic poetry has ever been esteemed the greatest work of human nature.
      - John Dryden

Doeg, though without knowing how or why,
  Made a still a blundering kind of melody;
    Spurr'd boldly on, and dash'd through thick and thin,
      Through sense and nonsense, never out nor in;
        Free from all meaning whether good or bad,
          And in one word, heroically mad.
      - John Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel
         (pt. II,, l. 412), "Thick and Thin"

He who finds elevated and lofty pleasures in the feeling of poetry is a true poet, though he has never composed a line of verse in his entire lifetime.
      - Mme. Armandine Lucile Dupon Dudevant (used pseudonym George Sand)

The repeated reminder of Mr. Pound: that poetry should be as well written as prose.
      - T.S. Eliot (Thomas Stearns Eliot),
        in Marianne Moore's "Selected Poems," p. 7

The word neither diffident nor ostentatious,
  An easy commerce of the old and new,
    The common word exact without vulgarity,
      The formal word precise but not pedantic,
        The complete consort dancing together.
      - T.S. Eliot (Thomas Stearns Eliot),
        Four Quartets--Little Gidding

Only that is poetry which cleanses and mans me.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Poetry teaches the enormous force of a few words, and, in proportion to the inspiration, checks loquacity.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Poetry must be as new as foam, and as old as the rock.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson's Journal
         (March, 1845)

The true poem is the poet's mind.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays--Of History

For it is not metres, but a metre-making argument that makes a poem.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays--The Poet

It does not need that a poem should be long. Every word was once a poem.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays--The Poet

The finest poetry was first experience.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Shakespeare

Poetry is as exact a science as geometry.
      - Gustave Flaubert

Oh love will make a dog howl in rhyme.
      - John William Fletcher, Queen of Corinth
         (act IV, sc. 1)

We all write poems; it is simply that the poets are the ones who write in words.
      - John Fowles

Poetry is what gets lost in translation.
      - Robert Lee Frost

Like a piece of ice on a hot stove the poem must ride on its own melting.
      - Robert Lee Frost, Collected Verse
         (preface)

Poetry is music in words, and music is poetry in sound: both excellent sauce, but they have lived and died poor, that made them their meat.
      - Thomas Fuller (1)

When the Divine Artist would produce a poem, He plants a germ of it in a human soul, and out of that soul the poem springs and grows as from the rose-tree the rose.
      - James Abram Garfield

What is a Sonnet? 'Tis the pearly shell
  That murmurs of the far-off, murmuring sea;
    A precious jewel carved most curiously;
      It is a little picture painted well.
        What is a Sonnet? 'Tis the tear that fell
          From a great poet's hidden ecstasy;
            A two-edged sword, a star, a song--ah me!
              Sometimes a heavy tolling funeral bell.
      - Richard Watson Gilder, The Sonnet


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