“A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. ”
He who listens to truth is not less than he who utters truth. -Kahlil Gibran, poet and artist (1883-1931).
The willow which bends to the tempest, often escapes better than the oak which resists it; and so in great calamities, it sometimes happens that light and frivolous spirits recover their elasticity and presence of mind sooner than those of a loftier character. -Walter Scott, novelist and poet (1771-1832).
That sorrow which is the harbinger of joy is preferable to the joy which is followed by sorrow. -Saadi, poet (c. 1213-1291).
Naive you are / if you believe / life favours those / who aren’t naive. -Piet Hein, poet and scientist (1905-1996).
Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? -T.S. Eliot, poet (1888-1965).
Nobody can be lucky all the time; / so when your luck deserts you in some fashion / don’t think you’ve been abandoned in your prime, / but rather that you’re saving up your ration. -Piet Hein, poet and scientist (1905-1996).
Men, said the Devil, / are good to their brothers: / they don’t want to mend / their own ways, but each other’s. -Piet Hein, poet and scientist (1905-1996).
If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful after all. -Michelangelo Buonarroti, sculptor, painter, architect, and poet (1475-1564).
Co-existence / or no existence. -Piet Hein, poet and scientist (1905-1996)
Only the good doubt their own goodness, which is what makes them good in the first place. The bad know they are good, but the good know nothing. They spend their lives forgiving others, but they can’t forgive themselves. -Paul Auster, novelist and poet (b. 1947).
It is with words as with sunbeams, the more they are condensed, the deeper they burn. -Robert Southey, poet (1774-1843).
If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility. -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, poet (1807-1882).
Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. —Herman Melville, novelist and poet (1819-1891).
human wandering through the zoo / what do your cousins think of you. -Don Marquis, humorist and poet (1878-1937).
It ought to be plain / how little you gain / by getting excited / and vexed. / You’ll always be late / for the previous train, / and always in time / for the next. -Piet Hein, poet and scientist (1905-1996)
Every man’s work, whether it be literature, or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself. -Samuel Butler, poet (1612-1680)
We are all tattooed in our cradles with the beliefs of our tribe; the record may seem superficial, but it is indelible. You cannot educate a man wholly out of the superstitious fears which were implanted in his imagination, no matter how utterly his reason may reject them. -Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr, poet, novelist, essayist, and physician (1809-1894)
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done. -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, poet (1807-1882).
This above all: to thine own self be true, / And it must follow, as the night the day, / Thou canst not then be false to any man. —William Shakespeare, poet and dramatist (1564-1616).
Thank everyone who calls out your faults, your anger, your impatience, your egotism; do this consciously, voluntarily. -Jean Toomer, poet and novelist (1894-1967).
The past, — well, it’s just like / our Great-Aunt Laura, / who cannot or will not perceive / that though she is welcome, / and though we adore her, / yet now it is time to leave. -Piet Hein, poet and scientist (1905-1996).
“Each to his grief, each to
his loneliness and fidgety revenge.”
– Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917), U.S. poet. Boy Breaking Glass (l. 13–14). . .
Norton Anthology of Poetry, The. Alexander W. Allison and others, eds. (3d ed., 1983) W. W. Norton & Company.
Poetry is the art of saying what you mean but disguising it. –Diane Wakoski, poet (b. 1937).