10 More Great Quotes About Poets, Poetry, and Writing by Mary Oliver

003

“Writers sometimes give up what is most strange and wonderful about their writing – soften their roughest edges – to accommodate themselves toward a group response.”

“I want to write something so simply about love or about pain that even as you are reading you feel it and as you read you keep feeling it and though it be my story it will be common, though it be singular it will be known to you so that by the end you will think— no, you will realize— that it was all the while yourself arranging the words, that it was all the time words that you yourself, out of your heart had been saying.”

“I consider myself kind of a reporter – one who uses words that are more like music and that have a choreography. I never think of myself as a poet; I just get up and write.”

“I decided very early that I wanted to write. But I didn’t think of it as a career. I didn’t even think of it as a profession… It was the most exciting thing, the most powerful thing, the most wonderful thing to do with my life.”

“I have a notebook with me all the time, and I begin scribbling a few words. When things are going well, the walk does not get anywhere; I finally just stop and write.”

“It was not a choice of writing or not writing. It was a choice of loving my life or not loving my life. To keep writing was always a first priority…. I worked probably 25 years by myself…. Just writing and working, not trying to publish much. Not giving readings. A longer time than people really are willing to commit before they want to go public.”

“It is no use thinking that writing of poems – the actual writing – can accommodate itself to a social setting, even the most sympathetic social setting of a workshop composed of friends. It cannot. The work improves there and often the will to work gets valuable nourishment and ideas. But, for good reasons, the poem requires of the writer not society or instruction, but a patch of profound and unbroken solitude.”

“I’ve always wanted to write poems and nothing else.”

“Writing a poem … is a kind of possible love affair between something like the heart (that courageous but also shy factory of emotion) and the learned skills of the conscious mind.”

“… to write well it is entirely necessary to read widely and deeply. Good poems are the best teachers.”

–Mary Oliver

Advertisements

10 Great Quotes About Poetry and Writing by Anne Sexton

278

“Poetry to me is prayer.”

“When I’m writing, I know I’m doing the thing I was born to do.”

“A woman who writes feels too much.”

“Craft is a trick you make up to let you write the poem.”

“It’s a little mad, but I believe I am many people. When I am writing a poem, I feel I am the person who should have written it.”

“All I am is the trick of words writing themselves.”

“The beautiful feeling after writing a poem is on the whole better even than after sex, and that’s saying a lot.”

“I think of myself as writing for one person, that one perfect reader who understands and loves.”

“I think I’ve been writing black poems all along, wearing my white mask. I’m always the victim … but no longer!”

“I keep feeling that there isn’t one poem being written by any one of us – or a book or anything like that. The whole life of us writers, the whole product I guess I mean, is the one long poem – a community effort if you will. It’s all the same poem. It doesn’t belong to any one writer – it’s God’s poem perhaps. Or God’s people’s poem.”

— Anne Sexton

10 Great Quotes About Poets, Poetry, and Writing by Mary Oliver

028

“Poetry isn’t a profession, it’s a way of life. It’s an empty basket; you put your life into it and make something out of that.”

“Poetry is a river; many voices travel in it; poem after poem moves along in the exciting crests and falls of the river waves. None is timeless; each arrives in an historical context; almost everything, in the end, passes. But the desire to make a poem, and the world’s willingness to receive it–indeed the world’s need of it–these never pass.”

“Poetry is a serious business; literature is the apparatus through which the world tries to keep intact its important ideas and feelings.”

“Poetry is one of the ancient arts, and it began, as did all the fine arts, within the original wilderness of the earth. Also, it began through the process of seeing, and feeling, and hearing, and smelling, and touching, and then remembering–I mean remembering in words–what these perceptual experiences were like, while trying to describe the endless invisible fears and desires of our inner lives.”

“Look for verbs of muscle, adjectives of exactitude.”

“The three ingredients of poetry: the mystery of the universe, spiritual curiosity, the energy of language.”

“Rhythm is one of the most powerful of pleasures, and when we feel a pleasurable rhythm we hope it will continue. When it does, it grows sweeter.”

“He is exactly the poem I wanted to write.”

“The poet must not only write the poem but must scrutinize the world intensely, or anyway that part of the world he or she has taken for subject. If the poem is thin, it is likely so not because the poet does not know enough words, but because he or she has not stood long enough among the flowers–has not seen them in any fresh, exciting, and valid way.”

“It’s very important to write things down instantly, or you can lose the way you were thinking out a line. I have a rule that if I wake up at 3 in the morning and think of something, I write it down. I can’t wait until morning – it’ll be gone.”

-Mary Oliver

10 Great Quotes About Poets, Poetry, and Writing by W.H. Auden

201 (2)

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

“A poet must never make a statement simply because it is sounds poetically exciting; he must also believe it to be true.”

“It is a sad fact about our culture that a poet can earn much more money writing or talking about his art than he can by practicing it.”

“Adjectives are the potbelly of poetry”

“Poetry is the only art people haven’t learned to consume like soup.”

“The primary function of poetry, as of all the arts, is to make us more aware of ourselves and the world around us. I do not know if such increased awareness makes us more moral or more efficient. I hope not. I think it makes us more human, and I am quite certain it makes us more difficult to deceive.”

“You will be a poet because you will always be humiliated.”

“What is a Professor of Poetry? How can poetry be professed?”

“Rhymes, meters, stanza forms, etc., are like servants. If the master is fair enough to win their affection and firm enough to command their respect, the result is an orderly happy household. If he is too tyrannical, they give notice; if he lacks authority, they become slovenly, impertinent, drunk and dishonest.”

-W. H. Auden

10 Great Quotes About Poets and Poetry by Wallace Stevens

038B

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

“In poetry, you must love the words, the ideas and the images and rhythms with all your capacity to love anything at all.”

“The poet is the priest of the invisible.”

“A poem need not have a meaning and like most things in nature often does not have.”

“The reading of a poem should be an experience. Its writing must be all the more so.”

“Poetry is a means of redemption.”

“The poet makes silk dresses out of worms.”

“The purpose of poetry is to make life complete in itself.”

“Poetry is poetry, and one’s objective as a poet is to achieve poetry precisely as one’s objective in music is to achieve music.”

“Most poets who have little or nothing to say are concerned primarily with the way in which they say it … if it is true that the style of a poem and the poem itself are one, … it may be … that the poets who have little or nothing to say are, or will be, the poets that matter.”

-Wallace Stevens

10 Great Quotes About Poets, Poetry, and Writing by Oscar Wilde

img_20190117_020550

“All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.”

“He lives the poetry that he cannot write. The others write the poetry that they dare not realize.”

“If you cannot write well, you cannot think well; if you cannot think well, others will do your thinking for you.”

“A poet can survive everything but a misprint.”

“I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.”

“There are two ways of disliking poetry, one way is to dislike it, the other is to read (Alexander) Pope.”

“A writer is someone who has taught his mind to misbehave.”

“You mustn’t mind that a poet is a drunk, rather that drunks are not always poets.”

“The poet is the supreme artist, for he is the master of colour and of form, and the real musician besides, and is lord over all life and all art.”

“I have put my talent into writing, my genius I have saved for living.”

– Oscar Wilde

10 Great Quotes About Poetry and Writing by Allen Ginsberg

IMG_20190303_175642

“A poem is like a radio that can broadcast continuously for thousands of years.”

“Poetry is not an expression of the party line. It’s that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public, that’s what the poet does.”

“To gain your own voice you have to forget about having it heard.”

“I have a new method of poetry. All you got to do is look over your notebooks… or lay down on a couch, and think of anything that comes into your head, especially the miseries. Then arrange in lines of two, three or four words each, don’t bother about sentences, in sections of two, three or four lines each.”

“Poetry’s role is to provide spontaneous individual candor as distinct from manipulation and brainwash.”

“One must verge on the unknown, write toward the truth hitherto unrecognizable of one’s own sincerity, including the avoidable beauty of doom, shame, and embarrassment, that very area of personal self-recognition,(detailed individual is universal remember) which formal conventions, internalized, keep us from discovering in ourselves and others.”

“There should be no distinction between what we write down, and what we really know.”

“Concentrate on what you want to say to yourself and your friends. Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness. You say what you want to say when you don’t care who’s listening.”

“It means abandoning being a poet, abandoning your careerism, abandoning even the idea of writing any poetry, really abandoning, giving up as hopeless – abandoning the possibility of really expressing yourself to the nations of the world. Abandoning the idea of being a prophet with honor and dignity, and abandoning the glory of poetry and just settling down in the muck of your own mind. You really have to make a resolution to write for yourself, in the sense of not writing to impress yourself, but just writing what your self is saying.”

“The parts that embarrass you the most are usually the most interesting poetically, are usually the most naked of all, the rawest, the goofiest, the strangest and most eccentric and at the same time, most representative, most universal… That was something I earned from Kerouac, which was that spontaneous writing could be embarrassing… The cure for that is to write the thing down which you will not publish and which you won’t show people. To write secretly… so you can actually be free to say anything you want.”

-Allen Ginsberg