10 Great Quotes About Poets, Poetry, and Writing From Movies

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“I think the greatest harm done the human race has been done by the poets. They keep filling people’s heads with delusions about love… writing about it as if it were a symphony orchestra or a flight of angels.”

—Spellbound (1945)

“Good order, very precise, feeling of the unknown. Fine poetry is the music of mathematics, numbers, singing. You have to look behind the words to understand their meaning.”

—The Good Shepherd (2006)

“In fact, when poetry is combined with ill-groomed hair and eccentric dress, it’s generally fatal.”

—Cold Comfort Farms (1995)

“T. S. Eliot said that the purpose of literature was to turn blood into ink. Well, I tried that. I published five collections of poetry in eight years and I bled like a hemophiliac. Then, somewhere along the way, the blood finally clotted. Over time, the scab became a scar, and now I can scarcely feel the wound. All the arteries and veins are dried out. I no longer turn blood into ink. These days, I turn whiskey into journalism. I haven’t written a poem since 1987.”

—The Hippopotamus (2017)

“Poetry in translations is like taking a shower with a raincoat on.”

—Paterson (2016)

“No thinking – that comes later. You must write your first draft with your heart. You rewrite with your head. The first key to writing is… to write, not to think!”

Finding Forrester (2000)

“A man writes because he is tormented, because he doubts. He needs to constantly prove to himself and the others that he’s worth something.”

—Stalker (1979)

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”

–Dead Poets’ Society (1989)

“My dear, this is not a country that rewards poetry. This is a country that rewards gas mileage. Besides, people don’t read poetry anymore; they watch television.”

—My Girl 2 (1994)

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

Bright Star (2011)

13 thoughts on “10 Great Quotes About Poets, Poetry, and Writing From Movies

  1. Hello,
    thank you for your article, there are really a lot of pearls … i am going to extract myself from your article to learn some of these wonderful phrases.
    Those of the Paterson and The good shepherd are just fabulous ….
    thank you so much
    take care of yourself
    see you soon
    Corinne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Liz. Hehe, that last quote is a bit of a cheat…although it is spoken by the character of John Keats in the movie Bright Star – it is also an actual quote (one of my favorites) by Keats…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Eugenia! I don’t know if you ever saw it, but I would highly recommend the movie Paterson. In my opinion, it is one of the best representations of what it is like to be a poet that I have seen…

      Liked by 1 person

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