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Poetry is the art which is technically within the grasp of everyone:
by Eugenio Montale

Poetry is the art which is technically within the grasp of everyone:
a piece of paper and a pencil and one is ready.
- Eugenio Montale

Strangely, Dante's Divine Comedy did not produce a
prose of that creative height or it did so after centuries.
- Eugenio Montale

Narrative art, the novel, from Murasaki to Proust,
has produced great works of poetry.
- Eugenio Montale

There is also poetry written to be shouted in a square
in front of an enthusiastic crowd.
This occurs especially in countries where authoritarian regimes are in power.
- Eugenio Montale

 

In reality art is always for everyone and for no one.
- Eugenio Montale

Mass communication, radio, and especially television,
have attempted, not without success,
to annihilate every possibility of solitude and reflection.
- Eugenio Montale

The poet does not know - often he will never know -
whom he really writes for.
- Eugenio Montale

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I have always knocked at the door of that wonderful
and terrible enigma which is life.
- Eugenio Montale

I am perhaps a late follower of Zoroaster and I believe
that the foundation of life is built upon the struggle
between the two opposing forces of Good and Evil.
- Eugenio Montale

However, poetry does not live solely in books or in school anthologies.
- Eugenio Montale

It has often been observed that the repercussion of
poetic language on prose language can be considered
a decisive cut of a whip.
- Eugenio Montale

Happiness, for you we walk on a knife edge.
To the eyes you are a flickering light,
to the feet, thin ice that cracks; and so may no one touch you who loves you.
- Eugenio Montale

This proves that great lyric poetry can die,
be reborn, die again, but will always remain one of
the most outstanding creations of the human soul.
- Eugenio Montale

Many of today's verses are prose and bad prose.
- Eugenio Montale

Man cannot produce a single work without the assistance of the slow,
assiduous, corrosive worm of thought.
- Eugenio Montale

Against the dark background of this contemporary civilization of well-being,
even the arts tend to mingle, to lose their identity.
- Eugenio Montale

Too many lives are needed to make just one.
- Eugenio Montale

Evidently the arts, all the visual arts,
are becoming more democratic in the worst sense of the word.
- Eugenio Montale

For my part, if I consider poetry as an object,
I maintain that it is born of the necessity of adding
a vocal sound (speech) to the hammering of the first tribal music.
- Eugenio Montale

I do not go in search of poetry.
I wait for poetry to visit me.
- Eugenio Montale

Slowly poetry becomes visual because it paints images,
but it is also musical: it unites two arts into one.
- Eugenio Montale

True poetry is similar to certain pictures whose owner
is unknown and which only a few initiated people know.
- Eugenio Montale

I have been judged to be a pessimist but what abyss
of ignorance and low egoism is not hidden in one who
thinks that Man is the god of himself and that his
future can only be triumphant?
- Eugenio Montale

But poets were not considered dangerous and they were
advised to exercise self-censorship.
At most, poets were requested not to write at all.
I took advantage of this negative liberty.
- Eugenio Montale

Today not even a universal fire could make the torrential
poetic production of our time disappear.
But it is exactly a question of production,
that is, of hand-made products which are subject to
the laws of taste and fashion.
- Eugenio Montale

Art is the production of objects for consumption,
to be used and discarded while waiting for a new world
in which man will have succeeded in freeing himself of everything,
even of his own consciousness.
- Eugenio Montale

There is poetry even in prose, in all the great prose
which is not merely utilitarian or didactic:
there exist poets who write in prose or at least in
more or less apparent prose;
millions of poets write verses which have no connection with poetry.
- Eugenio Montale

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

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

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

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

Poetry is what gets lost in translation.
- Robert Frost

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason.
- Novalis

Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.
- Plato

All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.
- Oscar Wilde

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

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

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

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

The novel is born of disillusionment;
the poem,
of despair.
- Jose Bergamin

A poet's work is to name the unnameable,
to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments,
shape the world, and stop it going to sleep.
- Salman Rushdie

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


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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

 


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