Whether you love writing poetry, reading poetry, or living the poetry, here’s a bright little collection of quotes about poetry.
Through poetry, I've discovered a message inside every pain, a hope that far outlasts despair. I think that's because poetry is a way to stay with something long enough to make sense of it.
26 Quotes about Poetry and Its Gifts
1. “I think that we’re 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.” — Lucille Clifton
2. “Poetry isn’t important in today’s culture, but the fact that it’s useless and people still continue to write it makes it important, in that weird, paradoxical, poetic sort of way.” — Aaron McCollough
3. “Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.” — Rita Dove
4. “In the end, the poem is not a thing we see; it is, rather, a light by which we may see—and what we see is life.” — Robert Penn Warren
5. “A poem begins with delight and ends in wisdom.” — Robert Frost
6. “The best poems say with words that which can’t be said with words.” — Rob Jacques
7. “Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.” — T. S. Eliot
8. “Poets are soldiers that liberate words from the steadfast possession of definition.” — Eli Khamarov
9. “Writing poetry is a state of free float.” — Margaret Atwood
10. “The true poem rests between the words.” — Vanna Bonta
11. “Poetry is a language in which man explores his own amazement.” — Christopher Fry
12. “There is not a particle of life which does not bear poetry within it.” — Gustave Flaubert
13. “Poetry is just evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.” — Leonard Cohen
14. “Poetry is thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.” — Thomas Gray
15. “Like a piece of ice on a hot stove the poem must ride on its own melting.” — Robert Frost
16. “If you can’t be a poet, be the poem.” — David Carradine
17. “The courage of the poet is to keep ajar the door that leads into madness.” — Christopher Morley
18. “Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.” — Carl Sandburg
19. “If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?” — Emily Dickinson
20. “Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.” — Percy Bysshe Shelley
21. “Poetry is everywhere; it just needs editing.” — James Tate
22. “What the poet has to convey is not “self-expression,” but a view of a reality common to all, seen from a unique perspective, which it is his duty as well as his pleasure to share with others.” — W. H. Auden
23. “Poetry can be dangerous, especially beautiful poetry, because it gives the illusion of having had the experience without actually going through it.” — Rumi
24. “Poetry is the journal of the sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air.” — Carl Sandburg
25. “Poetry is eternal graffiti written in the heart of everyone.” — Lawrence Ferlinghetti
26. “Dear Reader, beware. You think you’re reading my poems, but in truth, they are reading you. My words are mirrors and windows. Your reaction is merely a reflection of your own nature and experiences.” — John Mark Green
. . .
Which of these quotes is your favorite?
Tell me in the comments. I read every single one, and I'd love to know!
Stay close to what feels like poetry.
P.S. Want to celebrate this season with poetry you can hold? Go visit my shop for prints of handwritten poems and other words of hope and heart. If you ever forget what a gift it is to be here at all, you'll have something to remind you. Something to hold on to.