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Poetry is ordinary language raised to the Nth power.
by Paul Engle

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

Related topics: Poetry

Verse is not written, it is bled; Out of the poet's abstract head.
Words drip the poem on the page; Out of his grief,
delight and rage.
- Paul Engle

Wisdom is knowing when you can't be wise.
- Paul Engle

But maybe it's up in the hills under the leaves or in a ditch somewhere.
Maybe it's never found.
But what you find, whatever you find,
is always only part of the missing, and writing is
the way the poet finds out what it is he found.
- Paul Engle

 

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

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

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

All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.
- Oscar Wilde

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 heals the wounds inflicted by reason.
- Novalis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.
- Plato

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

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 what gets lost in translation.
- Robert Frost

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

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

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

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

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

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

The poem is the point at which our strength gave out.
- Richard Rosen

However, if a poem can be reduced to a prose sentence,
there can't be much to it.
- James Schuyler

How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.
- Robert Penn Warren

A poem can have an impact, but you can't expect an
audience to understand all the nuances.
- Douglas Dunn

Each word bears its weight, so you have to read my poems quite slowly.
- Anne Stevenson

The poet doesn't invent.
He listens.
- Jean Cocteau

Children and lunatics cut the Gordian knot which the
poet spends his life patiently trying to untie.
- Jean Cocteau

You don't help people in your poems.
I've been trying to help people all my life -
that's my trouble.
- Charles Olson

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

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

Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose
petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo.
- Don Marquis

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

To read a poem is to hear it with our eyes;
to hear it is to see it with our ears.
- Octavio Paz

Every single soul is a poem.
- Michael Franti

Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion,
but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality,
but an escape from personality.
But, of course, only those who have personality and
emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.
- T. S. Eliot

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

One will never again look at a birch tree,
after the Robert Frost poem, in exactly the same way.
- Paul Muldoon

Usually a life turned into a poem is misrepresented.
- Mark Strand

I was reading the dictionary.
I thought it was a poem about everything.
- Steven Wright

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

I still read Donne, particularly his love poems.
- Carol Ann Duffy

Poets are soldiers that liberate words from the steadfast
possession of definition.
- Eli Khamarov

A poem is never finished, only abandoned.
- Paul Valery

No poems can please for long or live that are written by water drinkers.
- Horace

Always be a poet, even in prose.
- Charles Baudelaire

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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