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POETS
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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 ]

Who says in verse what others say in prose.
      - Alexander Pope

Poets like painters, thus unskill'd to trace
  The naked nature and the living grace,
    With gold and jewels cover every part,
      And hide with ornaments their want of art.
      - Alexander Pope, Essay on Criticism
         (l. 293)

Vain was the chief's, the sage's pride!
  They had no poet, and they died.
      - Alexander Pope, Odes of Horace
         (bk. IV, ode 9)

Then from the Mint walks forth the man of rhyme,
  Happy to catch me, just at dinner-time.
      - Alexander Pope, Prologue to Satires
         (l. 13)

The bard whom pilfer'd pastorals renown,
  Who turns a Persian tale for half a crown,
    Just writes to make his barrenness appear,
      And strains from hard-bound brains eight lines a year.
      - Alexander Pope, Prologue to Satires
         (l. 179)

And he whose fustian's so sublimely bad,
  It is not poetry, but prose run mad.
      - Alexander Pope, Prologue to Satires
         (l. 185)

Dulness! whose good old cause I yet defend,
  With whom my muse began, with who shall end.
      - Alexander Pope, The Dunciad
         (bk. I, l. 165)

While pensive poets painful vigils keep,
  Sleepless themselves to give their readers sleep.
      - Alexander Pope, The Dunciad (bk. I, l. 93)

Most of the poets of to-day have the spider's talent of spinning, but not her art of weaving.
      - Jean Paul Friedrich Richter (Johann Paul Richter) (used ps. Jean Paul)

Greece boasts her Homer, Rome can Virgil claim;
  England can either match in Milton's fame.
    [Lat., Graecia Maeonidam, jactet sibi Roma Maronem
      Anglia Miltonum jactat utrique parem.]
      - Salvaggi, Ad Joannem Miltonum

. . . For ne'er
  Was flattery lost on Poet's ear;
    A simple rave! they waste their toil
      For the vain tribute of a smile.
      - Sir Walter Scott,
        The Lay of the Last Minstrel
         (canto IV, last stanza)

Call it not vain:--they do not err,
  Who say that, when the Poet dies,
    Mute Nature mourns her worshipper,
      And celebrates his obsequies.
      - Sir Walter Scott,
        The Lay of the Last Minstrel
         (canto V, st. 1)

The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
  Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
    And as imagination bodies forth
      The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
        Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
          A local habitation and a name.
      - William Shakespeare,
        A Midsummer Night's Dream
         (Theseus at V, i)

Truly, I would the gods had made thee poetical.
      - William Shakespeare, As You Like It
         (Touchstone at III, iii)

Never durst poet touch a pen to write
  Until his ink were temp'red with Love's sighs;
    O, then his lines would ravish savage ears
      And plant in tyrants mild humility.
      - William Shakespeare, Love's Labor's Lost
         (Berowne at IV, iii)

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds.
      - Percy Bysshe Shelley

Poets are the hierophants of an unapprehended inspiration; the mirrors of the gigantic shadows which futurity casts upon the present.
      - Percy Bysshe Shelley

Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.
      - Percy Bysshe Shelley

They learn in suffering what they teach in song.
      - Percy Bysshe Shelley

Most wretched men
  Are cradled into poetry by wrong;
    They learn in suffering what they teach in song.
      - Percy Bysshe Shelley, Julian and Maddalo
         (l. 556)

Every good poet includes a critic, but the reverse is not true.
      - William Shenstone

Show me one wicked man who has written poetry, and I will show you where his poetry is not poetry; or, rather, I will show you in his poetry no poetry at all.
      - Elizabeth S. Shephard

There is nothing of which nature has been more bountiful than poets. They swarm like the spawn of codfish, with a vicious fecundity that invites and requires destruction. To publish verses is become a sort of evidence that a man wants sense; which is repelled, not by writing good verses, but by writing excellent verses.
      - Sydney Smith

Poets tell many lies.
      - Solon

Dan Chaucer, well of English undefyled.
  On Fame's eternall beadroll worthie to be fyled.
      - Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene
         (bk. IV, canto II, st. 32)


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