10 Great Quotes About Poetry, Writing, and Art by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


“What makes poetry? A full heart, brimful of one noble passion.”

“After all, poets shouldn’t be their own interpreters and shouldn’t carefully dissect their poems into everyday prose; that would mean the end of being poets. Poets send their creations into the world, it is up to the reader, the aesthetician, and the critic to determine what they wanted to say with their creations.”

“Writing is busy idleness.”

“True art can only spring from the intimate linking of the serious and the playful.”

If you want to understand poetry, you have to go to its origin. If you want to understand the poet, you have to go to the poet’s home.

“Personality is everything in art and poetry.”

“The question “From where does the poet get it?” addresses only the what, nobody learns anything about the how when asking that question.”

“He who does not expect a million readers should not write a line.*

“Give shape, Artist! Don’t talk! Your poem be but a breath.”

“No concrete object lies outside of the poetic sphere as long as the poet knows how to use the object properly.”

—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe