“And poetry [is] still the underwear of the soul.”  –Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Do we REALLY know what poetry is?  Can/will it ever be defined?  Adequately?

“Poems don’t just happen.”  –William Stafford

“Poetry is the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds.”      –P. B. Shelley

“I would define, in brief, the Poetry of words as the Rhythmical Creation of Beauty.  Its sole arbiter is taste.”  –E. A. Poe

“…poetry…the best words in the best order.”  –S. T. Coleridge

“We read poems for pleasure; they entertain us.  And we read them for instruction; they enlighten us.”  –Robert DiYanni

“Poetry takes all life as its province.  Its primary concern is not with beauty, not with philosophical truth, not with persuasion, but with experience.”  –Laurence Perrine

Poetics involves the theories about the forms and purposes of poetry.

“We’ve been reading poems in school, but I never understand any of them.  How am I supposed to know which poems to like?”   “Somebody tells you.”  –Charles Schulz

“Poetry is the art of uniting pleasure with truth, by calling imagination to the help of reason.”  –Samuel Johnson

“Poetry is the language that tells us, through a more or less emotional reaction, something that cannot be said.”  –E. A. Robinson

* * *

 “since feeling is first” –E. E. Cummings

 “Do not go gentle into that good night, …” –Dylan Thomas

 “Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, …” –W. H. Auden

 “When I consider how my light is spent, …” –John Milton

 “The sea is calm tonight.”  –Matthew Arnold

 “Come live with me and be my love, …” –Christopher Marlowe

“A poem should not mean//But be.”  –Archibald MacLeish

“When lilacs last in the dooryard bloomed, …” –Walt Whitman

“The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, …” –Thomas Gray

“The world is charged with the grandeur of God.”  –G. Manley Hopkins

“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, …”     –E.  A.  Poe

 “Why so pale and wan, fond Lover?”  –Sir John Suckling

 “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, …” –Robert Frost

 “I know what the caged bird feels, alas!”  —Paul Laurence Dunbar

 “Little Lamb, who made thee?”  –William Blake

 “Sundays too my father got up early…” –Robert Hayden



1 comment
  1. yudithc said:

    And when none say – poets do. 😊

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