"The thing about great novels is that they are full of drama and conflict, so I’m not sure I would want to live in the worlds of any of my favorite novels. I would prefer to live in a collection of poetry."

— Laura Lee, interview on Cabin Goddess

Tags: poetry

"

It’s sad that the air is the only thing we share.
No matter how close we get to each other,
there is always air between us.

It’s also nice that we share the air,
No matter how far apart we are
the air links us.

"

— Yoko Ono

Tags: poetry

"I suppose an impulse that dominates my whole activity as a poet is the urgent need to transmit what it means to be alive at this given moment in history. This is one of the great functions of poetry through the ages. To me, that’s one of the responsibilities of the poet. And, above all, one has to be determined never to lie, because that’s the unforgiveable sin against poetry itself."

— Stanley Kunitz, poet

Tags: poetry writing

"

Genesis

I shone a light.
Aren’t you satisfied?
The land and the sea
Are these not good?
Food grows on trees.
You are still hungry.

I made you a world.
You want to transcend it.
I gave you a body
You want to deny it.
I gave you a life.
You want life everlasting.

Is this not enough?
Aren’t you satisfied?

"

— Laura Lee, Where Souls Grow Warm

"I always thought that music was the highest genre of art. Then when I met Shostakovich and we became friends, he said that in his opinion poetry was the highest. I asked him why, and he said because poetry contains poetry inside itself. Poetry, he said, is music with explanation."

— Yevgeny Yevushenko, poet

Tags: poetry arts music

"When I write poetry, I’ll write it down, or a tiny bit of it, and then have to depend on the reader to bring his own feelings, moods and memories to the act of reading poetry. And this act is considerable art in itself. To read poetry or literature with attention is a marvelous thing to be able to do— to respond, to live and be moved by this subtle world you’ve created about you."

— William Anderson, poet

"

The Chaplain would not kneel to pray
By his dishonored grave:
Nor mark it with that blessed Cross
That Christ for sinners gave,
Because the man was one of those
Whom Christ came down to save

Yet all is well; he has but passed
To Life’s appointed bourne:
And alien tears will fill for him
Pity’s long-broken urn,
For his mourners will be outcast men,
And outcasts always mourn.

"

— Oscar Wilde, The Ballad of Reading Gaol

"If you commit yourself to the art of poetry, you commit yourself to the task of learning how to see, using words as elements of sight and their sounds as prisms. And to see means to see something worth all the agony of learning how to see."

— Archibald MacLeish, poet, playwright

Tags: poetry writing

"Every fragile beauty, every perfect forgotten sentence,
you grieve their going away, but that is not how it is.
Where they come from never goes dry.
It is an always flowing spring."

— Rumi

The Three Oddest Words

When I pronounce the word Future,

the first syllable already belongs to the past.

When I pronounce the world Silence,

I destroy it.

When I pronounce the world Nothing,

I make something no nonbeing can hold.

-Wislawa Zymborska from Monologue of a Dog