10 Great Quotes About Poets, Poetry, and Writing by Paul Engle

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“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.”

“Writing is rewriting what you have rewritten.”

“All poetry is an ordered voice, one which tries to tell you about a vision in the un-visionary language of farm, city, and love.

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

“I wanted to write poetry almost a little more than I wanted to eat.”

“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.”

“Writing is like this — you dredge for the poem’s meaning the way police dredge for a body. They think it is down there under the black water, they work the grappling hooks back and forth.”

“The years rolled their brutal course down the hill of time. Still poor, my clothes still smelling of the horse barn, still writing those doubtful poems where too much emotion clashed with too many words”.

“Has the painter not always gone to an art school, or at least to an established master, for instruction? And the composer, the sculptor, the architect? Then why not the writer? Good poets, like good hybrid corn, are both born and made.”

—Paul Engle

9 thoughts on “10 Great Quotes About Poets, Poetry, and Writing by Paul Engle

      1. Thanks! Poetry is going to take a little holiday for me, I’ve suddenly decided I’m going to become a world famous writer in the Cozy Mystery genre. I have it all planned, and have begun my first cozy mystery book, with many more planned. It’s a series of books, all with details of a main character and town I created to write my first try at a thriller. I’ve given up on the thriller, because it wasn’t thrilling me, and now I’m having fun with my little cozy mystery, which does feel thrilling!

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  1. Excellent selection of quotes, Paul! This one especially – “All poetry is an ordered voice, one which tries to tell you about a vision in the un-visionary language of farm, city, and love.

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