1. Poetry is truth in its Sunday clothes.
2. Poetry can be dangerous, especially beautiful poetry, because it gives the illusion of having had the experience without actually going through it.
3. Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.
4. Poetry is what in a poem makes you laugh, cry, prickle, be silent, makes your toe nails twinkle, makes you want to do this or that or nothing, makes you know that you are alone in the unknown world, that your bliss and suffering is forever shared and forever all your own.
5. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.
6. I’ve had it with these cheap sons of bitches who claim they love poetry but never buy a book.
7. Poetry is plucking at the heartstrings, and making music with them.
8. Poetry is the journal of a sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air.
9. Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful. – Rita Dove
10. Poetry is an act of peace.
11. 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.
12. Poetry is eternal graffiti written in the heart of everyone.
13. Poets are soldiers that liberate words from the steadfast possession of definition.
14. There is something about poetry beyond prose logic, there is mystery in it, not to be explained but admired.
15. If you can’t be a poet, be the poem.
16. Poetry is not an expression of the party line. It’s that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public, that’s what the poet does.
17. The poet is the priest of the invisible.
18. Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.
19. Poetry is a language in which man explores his own amazement.
20. The poet doesn’t invent. He listens.
21. There is poetry as soon as we realize we possess nothing.
22. Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.
23. Like a piece of ice on a hot stove the poem must ride on its own melting.
24. Poetry is everywhere; it just needs editing.
25. Poetry is frosted fire.
26. Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.
27. 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.
28. To be a poet is a condition, not a profession.
29. Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.
30. Poetry lies its way to the truth.
31. For what is a poem but a hazardous attempt at self-understanding: it is the deepest part of autobiography.
32. We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry.
33. Poetry is like a bird, it ignores all frontiers.
34. I think that were beginning to remember that the first poets didn’t come out of a classroom, that poetry began when somebody walked off of a savanna or out of a cave and looked up at the sky with wonder and said, “Ahhh.” That was the first poem.
35. Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose-petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo.
36. Poetry is the journal of a sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air.
37. Writers don’t write from experience, although many are hesitant to admit that they don’t. If you wrote from experience, you’d get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy.
38. But all art is sensual and poetry particularly so. It is directly, that is, of the senses, and since the senses do not exist without an object for their employment all art is necessarily objective. It doesn’t declaim or explain, it presents.
39. All poets, all writers are political. They either maintain the status quo, or they say, ’Something’s wrong, let’s change it for the better.’
40. My role in society, or any artist or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.
41. If you want to annoy a poet, explain his poetry.
42. Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.
43. Writing poetry is a state of free float.
44. There is not a particle of life which does not bear poetry within it.
45. Don’t use the phone. People are never ready to answer it. Use poetry.
46. A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.
47. Writing a book of poetry is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo.
48. Poetry is the robe, the royal apparel, in which truth asserts its divine origin.
49. The courage of the poet is to keep ajar the door that leads into madness.
50. The true poem rests between the words.
51. Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.
52. There is no Frigate like a Book / To take us Lands away, / Nor any Coursers like a Page / Of prancing Poetry.
53. If you tell a novelist, ‘Life’s not like that’, he has to do something about it. The poet simply replies, ‘No, but I am.’
54. Poetry is not the books in the library. Poetry is the encounter of the reader with the book, the discovery of the book.
55. As a poet I would say everything should be able to come into a poem but I can’t put toothbrushes in a poem. I really can’t
56. Poetry is play. I’d even rather have you think of it as a sport. For instance, like football.
57. An age which is incapable of poetry is incapable of any kind of literature except the cleverness of a decadence.
58. Poetry is life distilled.
59. Painting is silent poetry, poetry is eloquent painting.
60. Prose is a museum where all the old weapons of poetry are kept.
1. Poetry is truth in its Sunday clothes.