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Poetry is above all a concentration of the power of language,
by Adrienne Rich

Poetry is above all a concentration of the power of language,
which is the power of our ultimate relationship to
everything in the universe.
- Adrienne Rich

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

The connections between and among women are the most feared,
the most problematic, and the most potentially transforming force on the planet.
- Adrienne Rich

A thinking woman sleeps with monsters.
- Adrienne Rich

 

Every journey into the past is complicated by delusions,
false memories, false namings of real events.
- Adrienne Rich

Pride is a tricky, glorious, double-edged feeling.
- Adrienne Rich

They can rule the world while they can persuade us
our pain belongs in some order is death by famine worse than death by suicide,
than a life of famine and suicide...?
- Adrienne Rich

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False history gets made all day, any day,
the truth of the new is never on the news.
- Adrienne Rich

When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility
for more truth around her.
- Adrienne Rich

The mind's passion is all for singling out.
Obscurity has another tale to tell.
- Adrienne Rich

I keep coming back to you in my head,
but you couldn't know that, and I have no carbons.
- Adrienne Rich

It's exhilarating to be alive in a time of awakening consciousness;
it can also be confusing,
disorienting, and painful.
- Adrienne Rich

Lesbian existence comprises both the breaking of a
taboo and the rejection of a compulsory way of life.
It is also a direct or indirect attack on the male
right of access to women.
- Adrienne Rich

Art, whose honesty must work through artifice,
cannot avoid cheating truth.
- Adrienne Rich

Life on the planet is born of woman.
- Adrienne Rich

The repossession by women of our bodies will bring
far more essential change to human society than the
seizing of the means of production by workers.
- Adrienne Rich

Lying is done with words and also with silence.
- Adrienne Rich

A revolutionary poem will not tell you who or when to kill,
what and when to burn, or even how to theorize.
It reminds you...
where and when and how you are living and might live,
it is a wick of desire.
- Adrienne Rich

The mother's battle for her child with sickness,
with poverty, with war, with all the forces of exploitation
and callousness that cheapen human life needs to become a common human battle,
waged in love and in the passion for survival.
- Adrienne Rich

The worker can unionize, go out on strike;
mothers are divided from each other in homes,
tied to their children by compassionate bonds;
our wildcat strikes have most often taken the form
of physical or mental breakdown.
- Adrienne Rich

We might possess every technological resource...
but if our language is inadequate, our vision remains formless,
our thinking and feeling are still running in the old cycles,
our process may be "revolutionary" but not transformative.
- Adrienne Rich

If a man is called to be a street sweeper,
he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted,
or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry.
He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts
of heaven and earth will pause to say,
here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Youth, large, lusty, loving -
Youth, full of grace, force, fascination.
Do you know that Old Age may come after you
with equal grace, force, fascination?
- Walt Whitman

The River of Life has no judgments.
The River flows with no concept of good and bad - right and wrong.
The fields and dreams of men may be nourished by the River of Life,
or flooded and covered with silt, and the River just flows.
Men may catch fish and live on the River of Life,
or they may founder in a storm and drown, and the River just flows.
The River of Life is timeless.
It is not unchanging, but it is timeless,
and it changes in its own time.
The River of Life knows no obstacles.
The River can cut through solid rock - in its own time.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted.
- Percy Bysshe Shelley

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and
the thought has found words.
- Robert Frost

Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason.
- Novalis

Breathe-in experience, breathe-out poetry.
- Muriel Rukeyser

Poetry is the revelation of a feeling that the poet
believes to be interior and personal which the reader recognizes as his own.
- Salvatore Quasimodo

The River of Life has no meaning, no good, no bad,
no better, no worse, no love, no hate, no fear, no anger, no joy.
The River of Life has no judgment, no expectation.
The River of Life just IS. There is nothing to do.
There is nothing to say.
There is nothing to think.
There is nothing to feel.
The River just flows. The River is the source of all nourishment -
the source of all obstacles.
The River is the source of all life - the source of all death.
The River is the source of all joy - and the source of all sorrow.
Yet the River has no joy - and the River has no sorrow.
The River is just the River.
One can flow harmoniously with the River -
or one can struggle fearfully against the River -
and the River just flows.
One can accept the River - or one can deny the River -
and the River just flows.
One can worship the River of Life - or one can curse the River of Life -
and the River just flows. There is nothing to do - and the River flows.
There is nothing to say - and the River flows.
There is nothing to think - and the River flows.
There is nothing to feel - and the River flows.
The River flows - and all else is our drama.
The River flows - and all else is our invention.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder,
with a dash of the dictionary.
- Khalil Gibran

Sometimes poetry is inspired by the conversation entered
into by reading other poems.
- John Barton

One merit of poetry few persons will deny:
it says more and in fewer words than prose.
- Voltaire

You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some of it with you.
- Joseph Joubert

He who draws noble delights from sentiments of poetry is a true poet,
though he has never written a line in all his life.
- George Sand

Poetry is an orphan of silence.
The words never quite equal the experience behind them.
- Charles Simic

Poetry is the art of creating imaginary gardens with real toads.
- Marianne Moore

Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits.
- Carl Sandburg

Poetry is thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.
- Thomas Gray

Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.
- Rita Dove

Poetry should...
should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts,
and appear almost a remembrance.
- John Keats

Any healthy man can go without food for two days -
but not without poetry.
- Charles Baudelaire

All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.
- Oscar Wilde

There's no money in poetry, but then there's no poetry in money,
either.
- Robert Graves

To see clearly is poetry, prophecy and religion all in one.
- John Ruskin

A poet's autobiography is his poetry.
Anything else is just a footnote.
- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Poetry is just the evidence of life.
If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.
- Leonard Cohen

Poetry is what gets lost in translation.
- Robert Frost

Poetry is ordinary language raised to the Nth power.
Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions,
all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words.
- Paul Engle

Even when poetry has a meaning, as it usually has,
it may be inadvisable to draw it out...
Perfect understanding will sometimes almost extinguish pleasure.
- A. E. Housman

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

Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.
- Plato

The River of Life flows without emotion.
The River surges. The River quiets.
The River overflows its banks. The River dries to a trickle.
The River swirls and storms. The River becomes calm.
The River runs clear. The River runs dark with silt.
The River is indifferent to what benefit
or what harm is caused by its water.
The River is the River, and that is all there is to it.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.
- T. S. Eliot

There is poetry as soon as we realize that we possess nothing.
- John Cage

Poetry is all that is worth remembering in life.
- William Hazlitt

Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.
- Carl Sandburg

Poetry: the best words in the best order.
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.
- Plutarch

Poetry is plucking at the heartstrings,
and making music with them.
- Dennis Gabor

Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.
- Edgar Allan Poe

Everything one invents is true, you may be perfectly sure of that.
Poetry is as precise as geometry.
- Gustave Flaubert

There'll always be working people in my poems because I grew up with them,
and I am a poet of memory.
- Philip Levine

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

Wanted: a needle swift enough to sew this poem into a blanket.
- Charles Simic

The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

If you read quickly to get through a poem to what it means,
you have missed the body of the poem.
- M. H. Abrams

"Therefore" is a word the poet must not know.
- Andre Gide

Each memorable verse of a true poet has two or three
times the written content.
- Alfred de Musset

A poem begins as a lump in the throat,
a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.
- Robert Frost

You don't make a poem with ideas, but with words.
- Stephane Mallarme


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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

 


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