Skip to Content

Poetry Quotes From Some Of The World’s Best Poets

I wrote a lot of poems as a teen. Even managed to get a few of them inside of a couple of popular publications.

Not sure if they’re still around as this was quite some time ago, but its print so I’m sure they are out there somewhere.

Never know right?

So in celebration of National Poetry month, I hope you enjoy today’s post on the best poetry quotes from authors all around the world.

poetry quotes about life

Amazing Poetry Quotes from Poets From Around the World

“Personality is everything in art and poetry.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry.” – Emily Dickinson

“Science arose from poetry … when times change the two can meet again on a higher level as friends.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Superstition is the poetry of life.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“It is time to get drunk! So as not to be the martyred slaves of time, get drunk get drunk without stopping! On wine, on poetry, or on virtue, as you wish.” – Charles Baudelaire

“Poetry has done enough when it charms, but prose must also convince.” – H.L. Mencken

“Love is the poetry of the senses.” – Honore de Balzac

“It’s not easy to define poetry.” – Bob Dylan

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

“Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.” – Plato

“I was reading the dictionary. I thought it was a poem about everything.” – Steven Wright

“Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.” – Plutarch

“Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.” – Carl Sandburg

“A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.” – W. H. Auden

“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

Discover unique products that inspire at the
InspiredLife ShopWear Your Motivation. Inspire Your Space.

“To have great poets, there must be great audiences.” – Walt Whitman

“Poetry is all that is worth remembering life.” – William Hazlitt

“Wine is bottled poetry.” – Robert Luis Stevenson

“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 the art of uniting pleasure with truth.” – Samuel Johnson

“A poem is true if it hangs together. Information points to something else. A poem points to nothing but itself.” – E.M. Forster

Poetry Quotes by Robert Frost

“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” – Robert Frost

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

“Poetry is a way of taking life by the throat.” – Robert Frost

“Poetry is about the grief. Politics is about the grievance.” – Robert Frost

“Poetry is what gets lost in translation.” – Robert Frost

“To see clearly is poetry, prophecy and religion all in one.” – John Ruskin

“Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.” – Percy Bysshe Shelley

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

“Always be a poet, even in prose.” – Charles Baudelaire

Discover unique products that inspire at the
InspiredLife ShopWear Your Motivation. Inspire Your Space.

“All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.” – Oscar Wilde

“A poet can survive everything but a misprint.” – Oscar Wilde

“A poem is never finished, only abandoned.” – Paul Valery

“Any healthy man can go without food for two days – but not without poetry” – Charles Baudelaire

Poetry Quotes by Jean Cocteau

“The poet doesn’t invent. He listens.” – Jean Cocteau

“A true poet does not bother to be poetical. Nor does a nursery gardener scent his roses.” – Jean Cocteau

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

“The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth.” – Jean Cocteau

Poetry Quotes by Edgar Allan Poe

“With me, poetry has not been a purpose, but a passion.” – Edgar Allan Poe

“I would define, in brief, the poetry of words as the rhythmical creation of Beauty.” – Edgar Allan Poe

“Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.” – Edgar Allan Poe

“All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination and poetry.” – Edgar Allan Poe

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

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

“Therefore is a word the poet must not know.” – Andre Gide

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

“Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted.” – Percy Bysshe Shelley

“You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some of it with you.” – Joseph Joubert

“Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason.” – Novalis

“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

“There’s no money in poetry, but then there’s no poetry in money, either.” – Robert Graves

“God is the perfect poet.” – Robert Browning

“If Galileo said in verse that the world moved, the inquisition might have let him alone.” – Thomas Hardy

“There is poetry as soon as we realize that we possess nothing.” – John Cage

“If you cannot be a poet, be the poem.” – David Carradine

“A poet’s autobiography is his poetry. Anything else is just a footnote.” – Yevgeny Yevtushenko

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

“A poet looks at the world the way a man looks at a woman.” – Wallace Stevens

“No poem is easily grasped so why should any reader expect fast results?” – John Barton

“Poetry: the best words in the best order.” – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“Breathe in experience, breathe out poetry.” – Muriel Rukeyser

“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

“Every single soul is a poem.” – Michael Franti

“A poem can have an impact, but you can’t expect an audience to understand all the nuances.” – Douglas Dunn

“Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.” – Rita Dove

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

“The moment of change is the only poem.” – Adrienne Rich

“To read a poem is to hear it with our eyes. To hear it is to see it with our ears.” – Octavio Paz

“Wanted: a needle swift enough to sew this poem into a blanket.” – Charles Simic

“A poem conveys not a message so much as the provenance of a message, an advent of sense.” -Thomas Harrison

“How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.” – Robert Penn Warren

“The poem is the point at which our strength gave out.” – Richard Rosen

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

“Poetry is plucking at the heartstrings, and making music with them.” – Dennis Gabor

“Listen, real poetry doesn’t say anything. It just ticks off the possibilities. Opens all doors. You can walk through anyone that suits you.” – Jim Morrison

“I decided that it was not wisdom that enabled poets to write their poetry, but a kind of instinct or inspiration, such as you find in seers and prophets who deliver all their sublime messages without knowing in the least what they mean.” – Socrates

“If my poetry aims to achieve anything, it’s to deliver people from the limited ways in which they see and feel.” – Jim Morrison

“Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history. For poetry expresses the universal, and history only the particular.” – Aristotle

“You don’t have to suffer to be a poet. Adolescence is enough suffering for anyone.” – John Ciardi

“I sometimes talk about the making of a poem within the poem.” – Howard Nemerov

“Poetry is thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.” – Thomas Gray

“The drama is complete poetry. the ode and the epic contain it only in germ it contains both of them in a state of high development, and epitomizes both.” – Victor Hugo

“Rhyme, that enslaved queen, that supreme charm of our poetry, that creator of our meter.” – Victor Hugo

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

“The poem is a little myth of man’s capacity of making life meaningful. And 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

“The poet may be used as a barometer, but let us not forget that he is also part of the weather.” – Lionel Trilling

“Poetry is the art of crating imaginary gardens with real toads.” – Marianne Moore

“The novel is born of disillusionment the poem, of despair.” – Jose Bergamin

“Everyone thinks they’re going to write one book of poems or one novel.” – Marilyn Hacker

“Sometimes poetry is inspired by the conversation entered into by reading other poems.” – John Barton

“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

“Usually a life turned into a poem is misrepresented.” – Mark Strand

“Pain is filtered in a poem so that it becomes finally, in the end, pleasure.” – Mark Strand

“Poets are soldiers that liberate words from the steadfast possession of definition.” – Eli Khamarov

“You don’t make a poem with ideas, but with words.” – Stephane Mallarme

“A poem might be defined as thinking about feelings – about human feelings and frailties.” – Anne Stevenson

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

“We all write poems. It is simply that poets are the ones who write in words.” – John Fowles

“They’ll always be working people in my poems because I grew up with them and I am a poet of memory.” – Philip Levine

“You don’t help people in your poems. I’ve been trying to help people all my life – that’s my trouble.” – Charles Olson

Poetry Quotes by T.S. Eliot

“Poetry should help, not only to refine the language of the time, but to prevent it from changing too rapidly.” – T.S. Eliot

“Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.” – T.S. Eliot

“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

“Poetry may make us from time to time a little more aware of the deeper, unnamed feelings which form the substratum of our being, to which we rarely penetrate for our lives are mostly a constant evasion of ourselves.” – T.S. Eliot

Which of these poetry quotes did you find to be your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.

If you want to see more posts like these, check out our top Aristotle quotes about life.

Discover unique products that inspire at the
InspiredLife ShopWear Your Motivation. Inspire Your Space.