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Quotes by Famous Poets

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Famous Poets Quotes
On Being A Poet and Writing Poetry

Put your ear down close to your soul
and listen hard.

Anne Sexton

"A poem . . .
begins as a lump in the throat,
a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. . . .
It finds the thought
and the thought finds the words."

Robert Frost

"You ask whether your verses are good.
You ask me.
You have asked other before.
You send them to magazines.
You compare them with other poems,
and you are disturbed when certain editors reject your efforts.

Now I beg you to give up all that.
You are looking outward,
and that, above all, you should not do now.

Nobody can counsel and help you, nobody.
There is only one single way.
Go into yourself.
Seach for the reason that bids you write.
This above all, ask yourself
in the stillest hour of your night:
Must I write?"

Rainer Maria Rilke

"How so I explain these poems?
Not at all.

I quit teaching in colleges
because it seemed so criminal
to explain works of art.
The crisis in my teaching career came,
in fact, when I faced an audience
which expected me
to explain Dubliners by James Joyce.

I was game.
I'd read the book.
But when I opened by big mouth,
no sounds came out."

Anne Sexton

"I write out of subjects.

I am experience - oriented,
rather than word - oriented."

James Dickey

"To be a poet
is a condition,
not a profession. "

Robert Frost

A poet is a person
who manages,
in a lifetime
of standing out in thunderstorms,

to be struck by lightning
five or six times.

Randall Jarell

A poet is an unhappy being
whose heart is torn
by secret sufferings,

but whose lips are so strangely formed
that when the sighs
and the cries escape them,
they sound like beautiful music...

Soren Kierkegaard

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

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On Being a Poet

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