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1. poem n.

a composition in metre : a composition of high beauty of thought or language and

artistic form, in verse or prose : a creation, achievement, etc, marked by beauty or artistry.
Chambers Student Dictionary
2. Poetry is emotion put into measure. Thomas Hardy
3. Poetry is the language of the imagination and the passions.
William Hazlitt
4. … not to transmit thought but to set up in the reader’s sense a vibration corresponding to what
was felt by the writer—is the peculiar function of poetry. A.E. Housman
5. Poetry is the language in which man explores his own amazement. Christopher Fry
6. Poetry is a rhythmical form of words which express an imaginative-emotional-intellectual
experience of the writer’s…in such a way that it creates a similar experience in the mind of his
reader or listener. Clive Sansom
7. Poetry is the spontaneous outflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origins from emotion
recollected in tranquillity.
William Wordsworth, Lyrical Ballads, 1802
8. (Poetry is) literature in metrical form : any communication resembling poetry in beauty or the
evocation of feeling
9. Poetry is the revelation of a feeling that the poet believes to be interior and personal which the
reader recognizes as his own. Salvatore Quasimodo
10. Poetry (ancient Greek: ποιεω (poieo) = I create) is an art form in which human language is
used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or instead of, its notional and semantic content. It
consists largely of oral or literary works in which language is used in a manner that is felt by its
user and audience to differ from ordinary prose.
11. Poetry is man’s rebellion against being what he is. James Branch Cabell
12. (Poetry is) a kind of ingenious nonsense. Isaac Newton
13. (Poetry is) a literary expression in which words are used in a concentrated blend of sound and
imagery to create an emotional response
14. Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance. Carl Sandburg
15. A poem begins with a lump in the throat, a home-sickness or a love-sickness. It is a reaching-
out toward expression; an effort to find fulfillment. A complete poem is one where the emotion has
found its thought and the thought has found the words.
Robert Frost
16. Poetry is what gets lost in translation. Robert Frost
17. A good poem is a contribution to reality. The world is never the same once a good poem has
been added to it. A good poem helps to change the shape of the universe, helps to extend
everyone’s knowledge of himself and the world around him.
Dylan Thomas
18. Poetry is the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds. Percy
Bysshe Shelley (1792 – 1822)
19. Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression
of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and
emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things. T. S. Eliot (1888 – 1965),
“Tradition and the Individual Talent”, II (The Sacred Wood, 1922)
20. Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting with the gift of speech. Simonides (556 BC –
468 BC)
21. (Poetry) is the lava of the imagination whose eruption prevents an earthquake. Lord Byron
(1788 – 1824)
22. Poetry is the deification of reality. Edith Sitwell (1887 – 1964), Life magazine, 01-04-63
23. Poetry and Hums aren’t things which you get, they’re things which get you. And all you can
do is go where they can find you. Winnie-the-Pooh, Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A.
A. Milne
24. Poetry is the journal of the sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air. Poetry is a
search for syllables to shoot at the barriers of the unknown and the unknowable. Poetry is a
phantom script telling how rainbows are made and why they go away. Carl Sandburg, Poetry
25. Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted. Percy Shelley, A Defence of
Poetry, 1821
26. Good poetry seems too simple and natural a thing that when we meet it we wonder that all
men are not always poets. Poetry is nothing but healthy speech. Henry David Thoreau (1817 –
27. Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood. T. S. Eliot (1888 – 1965)
28. (Poetry is) texts in rhythmic form, often employing rhyme and usually shorter and more
concentrated in language and ideas than either prose or drama
29. Poetry comes nearer to vital truth than history. Plato (427 BC – 347 BC)
30. Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. Leonard
31. Poetry is the art of substantiating shadows, and of lending existence to nothing.
Edmund Burke
32. Poetry is basically anything that calls itself a poem.
33. Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful. Rita Dove
34. Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary. Kahlil Gibran
35. Poetry is thoughts that breathe, and words that burn. Thomas Gray
36. Poetry is all that is worth remembering in life. William Hazlitt
37. (Poetry is) an imaginative response to experience reflecting a keen awareness of language. Its
first characteristic is rhythm, marked by regularity far surpassing that of prose. Poetry’s rhyme
affords an obvious difference from prose. Because poetry is relatively short, it is likely to be
characterized by compactness and intense unity. Poetry insists on the specific and the concrete.’s%20Classes/literary_terms_glossary.htm
38. Poetry is the art of uniting pleasure with truth. Samuel Johnson
39. Poetry should… strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost
a remembrance. John Keats
40. Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.
Edgar Allan Poe
41. Poetry: the best words in the best order. Samuel Taylor Coleridge
42. The distinction between historian and poet is not in the one writing prose and the other verse…
the one describes the thing that has been, and the other a kind of thing that might be. Hence poetry
is something more philosophic and of graver import than history, since its statements are of the
nature rather of universals, whereas those of history are singulars.
Aristotle, On Poetics
43. Poetry is the art of creating imaginary gardens with real toads. Marianne Moore
44. Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits. Carl Sandburg
45. Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason. Novalis
46. There is poetry as soon as we realize that we possess nothing. John Cage
47. Poetry is an orphan of silence. The words never quite equal the experience behind them.
Charles Simic
48. Poetry is certainly something more than good sense, but it must be good sense at all events;
just as a palace is more than a house, but it must be a house, at least. Samuel Taylor Coleridge
49. The poem is a little myth of man’s capacity of making life meaningful. And in the end, the
poem is not a thing we see—it is, rather, a light by which we may see—and what we see is life.
Robert Penn Warren
50. Poetry is an attempt to capture the essence of the chord struck in the poet by an instant of
insight, in such a way that the same music will sound in the soul of the reader. Tia Azulay