10 Great Quotes About Poets, Poetry, and Writing by John Keats

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“Poetry should be great and unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one’s soul, and does not startle it or amaze it with itself, but with its subject.”

“I should write for the mere yearning and fondness I have for the beautiful, even if my night’s labors should be burnt every morning and no eye shine upon them.”

“No sooner had I stepp’d into these pleasures Than I began to think of rhymes and measures: The air that floated by me seem’d to say ‘Write! thou wilt never have a better day.”

“All writing is a form of prayer.”

“I am convinced more and more day by day that fine writing is next to fine doing, the top thing in the world.”

“A poem needs understanding through the senses. The point of diving in a lake is not immediately to swim to the shore; it’s to be in the lake, to luxuriate in the sensation of water. You do not work the lake out. It is an experience beyond thought. Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept mystery.”

“The genius of poetry must work out its own salvation in a man; it cannot be matured by law and precept, but by sensation and watchfulness in itself. That which is creative must create itself.”

“Poetry should surprise by a fine excess and not by singularity, it should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance.”

“A long poem is a test of invention which I take to be the Polar star of poetry, as fancy is the sails, and imagination the rudder.”

“A poet is the most unpoetical of anything in existence; because he has no identity he is continually informing and filling some other body.”

– John Keats

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