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With me poetry has not been a purpose, but a passion.
      - Edgar Allan Poe

As yet a child, not yet a fool to fame, I lisped in numbers, for the numbers came.
      - Alexander Pope

Pretty conceptions, fine metaphors, glittering expressions, and something of a neat cast of verse are properly the dress, gems, or loose ornaments of poetry.
      - Alexander Pope

Truth shines the brighter, clad in verse.
      - Alexander Pope

What woful stuff this madrigal would be
  In some starv'd hackney sonneteer or me!
    But let a lord once own the happy lines,
      How the Wit brightens! how the Style refines!
      - Alexander Pope, Essay on Criticism
         (pt. II, l. 418)

A needless Alexandrine ends the song,
  That, like a wounded snake, drags its slow length along.
      - Alexander Pope,
        Essay on Criticism pt. II, l. 156

The varying verse, the full resounding line,
  The long majestic march, and energy divine.
      - Alexander Pope, Horace
         (bk. II, ep. I, l. 267)

Curst be the verse, how well soe'er it flow,
  That tends to make one worthy man my foe,
    Give virtue scandal, innocence a fear,
      Or from the soft-eyed virgin steal a tear!
      - Alexander Pope, Prologue to Satires
         (l. 283)

It is uninspired inspiration.
      - Henry Reed

The moment of change is the only poem.
      - Adrienne Rich

There are so many tender and holy emotions flying about in our inward world, which, like angels, can never assume the body of an outward act; so many rich and lovely flowers spring up which bear no seed,--that it is a happiness poetry was invented, which receives into its limbus all these incorporated spirits and the perfume of all these flowers.
      - Jean Paul Friedrich Richter (Johann Paul Richter) (used ps. Jean Paul)

Milton saw not, and Beethoven heard not, but the sense of beauty was upon them, and they fain must speak.
      - John Ruskin

Poetry is the suggestion, by the imagination, of noble grounds for the noble emotions.
      - John Ruskin

Poetry is the journal of a sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air.
      - Carl Sandburg

Poetry is the opening and closing of a door, leaving those who look through to guess about what is seen during a moment.
      - Carl Sandburg

True poetry, like the religious prompting itself, springs from the emotional side of a man's complex nature, and is ever in harmony with his highest intuitions and aspirations.
      - Epes Sargent

Much is the force of heaven-bred poesy.
      - William Shakespeare

The elegancy, facility and golden cadence of poesy.
      - William Shakespeare

Here are only numbers ratified; but, for the elegancy, facility, and golden cadence of poesy, caret.
      - William Shakespeare, Love's Labor's Lost
         (Holofernes at IV, ii)

O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
  The brightest heaven of invention;
    A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
      And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of King Henry the Fifth
         (Speaker at prologue)

In the infancy of society every author is necessarily a poet.
      - Percy Bysshe Shelley

Poetry is the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds.
      - Percy Bysshe Shelley

I consider poetry very subordinate to moral and political science.
      - Percy Bysshe Shelley,
        Letter to Thomas L. Peacock
         (Naples, Jan. 26, 1819)

Poetry and consumption are the most flattering of diseases.
      - William Shenstone

Poetry is the child of enthusiasm.
      - Sigma (or Amgis) (pseudonym of Lucius Manlius Sargent)

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