Top Poetry And Life Quotes

Browse top 59 famous quotes and sayings about Poetry And Life by most favorite authors.

Favorite Poetry And Life Quotes

1. "But for me, dinner at a fine restaurant was the ultimate luxury. It was the very height of civilization. For what was civilization but the intellect's ascendancy out of the doldrums of necessity (shelter, sustenance and survival) into the ether of the finely superfluous (poetry, handbags and haute cuisine)? So removed from daily life was the whole experience that when all was rotten to the core, a fine dinner could revive the spirits. If and when I had twenty dollars left to my name, I was going to invest it right here in an elegant hour that couldn't be hocked."
Author: Amor Towles
2. "Like Mom, Zoe thought–like Mom used to. And that's where they differed, for Zoe wrote quiet poetry suffused with twilight and questions. It's not even good poetry, she thought. I don't have talent, it's her. I should be the one ill; she has so much to offer, so much life. "You're a dark one," her mother said sometimes with amused wonder. "You're a mystery."
Author: Annette Curtis Klause
3. "She wanted him. Not in the sweet way of poetry, though there was that music in the symmetry of his body, in the careful meshing of bone and sinew and flesh that made him.Her want was raw. Physical. She felt it in the palms of her hands and the flesh of her lips and the heaviness of her breasts.In her life, she'd been hungry, and thirsty. She'd needed sleep. She had never, in her life, needed to touch a man."
Author: Barbara Samuel
4. "Kishan spoke intently, "Kelsey is all that a man could ask for. She's perfect for you. She loves poetry and sits endlessly content while listening to you sing and play your guitar. She waited months for you to come after her, and she has risked her life repeatedly to save your mangy white hide. She's sweet and loving and warm and beautiful and would make you immeasurably happy."There was a pause. Then I heard Ren say incredulously, "You love her."Kishan didn't answer right away, but then said softly, almost so I couldn't hear it, "No man in his right mind wouldn't, which proves you aren't in your right mind."
Author: Colleen Houck
5. "The world deprived of clear-cut outlines, of the up and the down, of good and evil, succumbs to a peculiar nihilization, that is, it loses its colors, so that grayness covers not only things of this earth and of space, but also the very flow of time, its minutes, days and years. Abstract considerations will be of little help, even if they are intended to bring relief. Poetry is quite different. By its very nature it says: All those theories are untrue. Since poetry deals with the singular, not hte general, it can't - if it is good poetry - look at things of this earth other than as colorful, variegated, and exciting, and so, it cannot reduce life, with all its pain, horror, suffering, and ecstasy, to a unified tonality of boredom or complaint. By necessity poetry is therefore on the side of being and against nothingness."
Author: Czeslaw Milosz
6. "Humility is just as much the opposite of self-abasement as it is of self-exaltation. To be humble is not to make comparisons. Secure in its reality, the self is neither better nor worse, bigger nor smaller, than anything else in the universe. It *is*--is nothing, yet at the same time one with everything. It is in this sense that humility is absolute self-effacement.To be nothing in the self-effacement of humility, yet, for the sake of the task, to embody its whole weight and importance in your earing, as the one who has been called to undertake it. To give to people, works, poetry, art, what the self can contribute, and to take, simply and freely, what belongs to it by reason of its identity. Praise and blame, the winds of success and adversity, blow over such a life without leaving a trace or upsetting its balance."
Author: Dag Hammarskjöld
7. "It is the province of poetry to be more realistic and present than the artificial narratives of an outer discourse, and not afraid of the truthful difficulty of the average human life."
Author: David Whyte
8. "Think of the great poetry, the music and dance and ritual that spring forth from our aspiring to a life beyond death. Maybe these things are justification enough for our hopes and dreams, although I wouldn't say that to a dying man."
Author: Don DeLillo
9. "In his ordinary voice, so that she scarcely realized he was quoting poetry, he said:"'From far, from eve and morning,And yon twelve-winded sky,The stuff of life to knit meBlew hither: here am I'George and I both know this, but why does it distress him? We know that we come from the winds, and that we shall return to them; that all life is perhaps a knot, a tangle, a blemish in the eternal smoothness. But why should this make us unhappy? Let us rather love one another, and work and rejoice. I don't believe in this world sorrow."
Author: E.M. Forster
10. "I only know what it is that's wrong with him; not why it is."And what is it?" asked Lucy fearfully, expecting some harrowing tale.The old trouble; things won't fit."What things?"The things of the universe. It's quite true. They don't."Oh Mr. Emerson, whatever do you mean?"In his ordinary voice, so that she scarcely realized he was quoting poetry, he said: "'From far, from eve and morning, And yon twelve-winded sky, The stuff of life to knit me Blew hither: here am I."George and I both know this, but why does it distress him? We know that we come from the winds, and that we shall return to them; that all of life is perhaps a knot, a tangle, a blemish in the eternal smoothness. But why should this make us unhappy? Let us rather love one another, and work and rejoice. I don't believe in this world of sorrow."
Author: E.M. Forster
11. "Poetry and art are the breath of life to her."
Author: Edith Wharton
12. "It occurs to me to wonder: do I believe in any god, or even positively not believe, as James does? I believe in systems and methods. I believe in the beauties of philosophy and poetry. I believe that the work we do and leave behind us is our afterlife; and I believe that history lies, but sometimes so well that I can't bring myself to resent it. I believe that truth is beauty, but not, I'm afraid, the reverse. It doesn't seem sufficient to sustain one in life's rigorous moments. Perhaps I shall embrace Islam. Its standards for poetry seem very high."
Author: Emma Bull
13. "Clent, however, suppressed any sense of pity without the slightest difficulty. His brain was busy with the icy clockwork of calculation. If only this young woman's fears were justified! Beamabeth Marlebourne would be unlikely to threaten anybody, locked away inside the Luck's cell for the rest of her life. Such a fate had a tempting poetry to it too, given that she really was the Luck of Toll, and had been all her life."
Author: Frances Hardinge
14. "Poetry, it is often said and loudly so, is life's true mirror. But a monkey looking into a work of literature looks in vain for Socrates."
Author: Franz Grillparzer
15. "Hardy's astonishing technical versatility has won the admiration of major poets from Ezra Pound and Cecil Day Lewis to Philip Larkin. Among other genres he employs the lyric, narrative, ballads, and the sonnet. He also moves easily between the amplitude of dramatic monologue and the compression of imagism. He experiments continually with an ingenious variety of stanza forms and rhyme schemes, rejecting the fluidity of contemporary poetry for his own idiosyncratic style, based on a real understanding of the variety of speech rhythms and registers. Each individual poem is designed to express in its language and form, and with utter honesty, Hardy's impressions of life."
Author: Geoffrey Harvey
16. "And Ásta Sóllilja, it was she who swept on wings of poetry into those spheres which she had sensed as if in distant murmur one spring night last year when she was reading about the little girl who journeyed over the seven mountains; and the distant murmur had suddenly swelled to a song in her ears, and her soul found here for the first time its origin and its descent; happiness, fate, sorrow, she understood them all; and many other things. When a man looks at a flowering plant growing slender and helpless up in the wilderness among a hundred thousand stones, and he has found this plant only by chance, then he asks: Why is it that life is always trying to burst forth? Should one pull up this plant and use it to clean one's pipe? No, for this plant also broods over the limitation and the unlimitation of all life, and lives in the love of the good beyond these hundred thousand stones, like you and me; water it with care, but do not uproot it, maybe it is little Ásta Sóllilja."
Author: Halldór Laxness
17. "We should write as we dream; we should even try and write, we should all do it for ourselves, it's very healthy, because it's the only place where we never lie. At night we don't lie. Now if we think that our whole lives are built on lying-they are strange buildings-we should try and write as our dreams teach us; shamelessly, fearlessly, and by facing what is inside very human being-sheer violence, disgust, terror, shit, invention, poetry. In our dreams we are criminals; we kill, and we kill with a lot of enjoyment. But we are also the happiest people on earth; we make love as we never make love in life."
Author: Hélène Cixous
18. "On the meridian of time there is no injustice: there is only the poetry of motion creating the illusion of truth and drama. If at any moment anywhere one comes face to face with the absolute, that great sympathy which makes men like Gautama and Jesus seem divine freezes away; the monstrous thing is not that men have created roses out of this dung heap, but that, for some reason or other, they should want roses. For some reason or other man looks for the miracle, and to accomplish it he will wade through blood. He will debauch himself with ideas, he will reduce himself to a shadow if for only one second of his life he can close his eyes to the hideousness of reality. Everything is endured?disgrace, humiliation, poverty, war, crime, ennui?in the belief that overnight something will occur, a miracle, which will render life tolerable."
Author: Henry Miller
19. "First, we think all truth is beautiful, no matter how hideous its face may seem. We accept all of nature, without any repudiation. We believe there is more beauty in a harsh truth than in a pretty lie, more poetry in earthiness than in all the salons of Paris. We think pain is good because it is the most profound of all human feelings. We think sex is beautiful even when portrayed by a harlot and a pimp. We put character above ugliness, pain above prettiness and hard, crude reality above all the wealth in France. We accept life in its entirety without making moral judgments. We think the prostitute is as good as the countess, the concierge as good as the general, the peasant as good as the cabinet minister, for they all fit into the pattern of nature and are woven into the design of life!"
Author: Irving Stone
20. "StillIn the fall, I believe again in poetryif nothing else it isa movement of the mind.Summers ball togetherinto sticky lumps,spring evenings are glass beads from one mouldfor standard-size youth,winter a smooth heaviness, not even cold.But the mind trembleshere, on the brinkthe mind tremblesthere is life, after all,there is life, stillunbelief left."
Author: Jaakko A. Ahokas
21. "We've inherited many ideas about writing that emerged in the eighteenth century, especially an interest in literature as both an expression and an exploration of the self. This development ? part of what distinguishes the "modern" from the "early modern" ? has shaped the work of many of our most celebrated authors, whose personal experiences indelibly and visibly mark their writing. It's fair to say that the fiction and poetry of many of the finest writers of the past century or so ? and I'm thinking here of Conrad, Proust, Lawrence, Joyce, Woolf, Kafka, Plath, Ellison, Lowell, Sexton, Roth, and Coetzee, to name but a few ? have been deeply autobiographical. The link between the life and the work is one of the things we're curious about and look for when we pick up the latest book by a favorite author."
Author: James Shapiro
22. "I had lines inside me, a string of guiding lights. I had language. Fiction and poetry are doses, medicines. What they heal is the rupture reality makes on the imagination. I had been damaged, and a very important part of me had been destroyed - that was my reality, the facts of my life. But on the other side of the facts was who I could be, how I could feel. And as long as I had words for that, images for that, stories for that, then I wasn't lost."
Author: Jeanette Winterson
23. "My art is that of the 35mm kind; my poetry is of the lead and ink kind; my happiness is of the product of both; and my legacy is of the story of my soul, that my life left behind"
Author: Jeremy Aldana
24. "As I got older, I really got into Tupac's poetry, his books and just learning about his life and what he was into."
Author: Jhene Aiko
25. "I culled poetry from odors, sounds, faces, and ordinary events occurring around me. Breezes bulged me as if I were cloth; sounds nicked their marks on my nerves; objects made impressions on my sight as if in clay. There, in the soft language, life centered and ground itself in me and I was flowing with the grain of the universe. Language placed my life experiences in a new context, freeing me for the moment to become with air as air, with clouds as clouds, from which new associations arose to engage me in present life in a more purposeful way."
Author: Jimmy Santiago Baca
26. "A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul."
Author: Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
27. "I am back in my beloved city. The scene of desolation fills my eyes with tears. At every step my distress and agitation increases. I cannot recognize houses or landmarks I once knew well. Of the former inhabitants, there is no trace. Everywhere there is a terrible emptiness. All at once I find myself in the quarter where I once resided. I recall the life I used to live: meeting friends in the evening, reciting poetry, making love, spending sleepless nights pining for beautiful women and writing verses on their long tresses which held me captive. That was life! What is there left of it? Nothing."
Author: Khushwant Singh
28. "A poem exists only in the relation between poet and reader. And I'm in need of my readers, except that they never cease to write me as they would wish, turning their reading into another writing that almost rubs out my features. I don't know why my poetry has to be killed on the altar of misunderstanding or the fallacy of ready-made intent. I am not solely a citizen of Palestine, though I am proud of this affiliation and ready to sacrifice my life in defending the radiance of the Palestinian fact, but I also want to take up the history of my people and their struggle from an aesthetic angle that differs from the prevalent and repeatable meanings readily available from an unmediated political reading."
Author: Mahmoud Darwish
29. " Why , instead of teaching her poetry and drama and needlework, had her governesses not taught the most important lesson anyone could learn - that life was really not going to be easy after one was free of the schoolroom?"
Author: Mary Balogh
30. "Poetry puts starch in your backbone so you can stand, so you can compose your life."
Author: Maya Angelou
31. "Clarissa will be bereaved, deeply lonely, but she will not die. She will be too much in love with life, with London. Virginia imagines someone else, yes, someone strong of body but frail-minded; someone with a touch of genius, of poetry, ground under by the wheels of the world, by war and government, by doctors; a someone who is, technically speaking insane, because that person sees meaning everywhere, knows that trees are sentient beings and sparrows sing in Greek. Yes, someone like that. Clarissa, sane Clarissa -exultant, ordinary Clarissa - will go on, loving London, loving her life of ordinary pleasures, and someone else, a deranged poet, a visonary, will be the one to die."
Author: Michael Cunningham
32. "For me, what I am making in the novel is a place to live. When I first switched from poetry to novels, I was asked why, and the metaphor I came up with was about poems as rooms. You can make a room perfect, but then you have to shut the door and never go back, whereas a novel is like a house - it can never be perfect, but you can make a life in it."
Author: Nicole Krauss
33. "And so in poetry too, the real poetical quality, the joy of poetry, comes never from the subject but from an inventive handling of rhythmical language, from what Keats called the 'sensuous life of verse.' The element of song in the singing accompanied by the profound joy of motion, is so sweet that, while the incomplete lives of ordinary men bring no healing power with them, the thorn-crown of the poet will blossom into roses for our pleasure; for our delight his despair will gild its own thorns, and his pain, like Adonis, be beautiful in its agony; and when the poet's heart breaks it will break in music."
Author: Oscar Wilde
34. "Living is the opposite of poetry. Poetry is the recollection of living, or, more often than not, the lament of having not lived. Or worse yet, merely the contemplation of living. My advice to you, Ms. Harper, is this: Live. And keep living. And never stop to look back to write about what you have lived and observed and overcome, lest you turn into a pillar of salt. This desert life is already full of such monoliths."
Author: P.S. Baber
35. "How could anybody think of Bach as 'cold' when these [cello] suites seem to shine with the most glittering kind of poetry," Casals said. "As I got on with the study I discovered a new world of space and beauty... the feelings I experienced were among the purest and most intense in my artistic life!"
Author: Pablo Casals
36. "All things exist as they are perceived: at least in relation to the percipient. 'The mind is its own place, and of itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.' But poetry defeats the curse which binds us to be subjected to the accident of surrounding impressions. And whether it spreads its own figured curtain or withdraws life's dark veil from before the scene of things, it equally creates for us a being within our being."
Author: Percy Bysshe Shelley
37. "Poetry is the perpetual endeavor to express the spirit of the thing, to pass the brute body and search the life and reason which causes it to exist;—to see that the object is always flowing away, whilst the spirit or necessity which causes it subsists. Its essential mark is that it betrays in every word instant activity of mind, shown in new uses of every fact and image, in preternatural quickness or perception of relations. All its words are poems. It is a presence of mind that gives a miraculous command of all means of uttering the thought and feeling of the moment. The poet squanders on the hour an amount of life that would more than furnish the seventy years of the man that stands next him."
Author: Ralph Waldo Emerson
38. "Attempt to be creative for the joy it brings… Select something like music, dance, sculpture, or poetry. Being creative will help you enjoy life. It engenders a spirit of gratitude. It develops latent talent, sharpens your capacity to reason, to act, and to find purpose in life. It dispels loneliness and heartache. It gives a renewal, a spark of enthusiasm, and zest for life."
Author: Richard G. Scott
39. "The real poetry and beauty in life comes from an intense relationship with reality in all its aspects. Realism is in fact the ideal we must aspire to, the highest point of human rationality."
Author: Robert Greene
40. "The language of poetry is a language of deep intimacy that is meant to touch the human spirit and awaken it to the mystery of life, all life."
Author: Ron Starbuck
41. "Later, when his desires had been satisfied, he slept in an odorous whorehouse, snoring lustily next to an insomniac tart, and dreamed. He could dream in seven languages: Italian, Spanic, Arabic, Persian, Russian, English and Portughese. He had picked up languages the way most sailors picked up diseases; languages were his gonorrhea, his syphilis, his scurvy, his ague,his plague. As soon as he fell asleep half the world started babbling in his brain, telling wondrous travelers' tales. In this half-discovered world every day brought news of fresh enchantments. The visionary, revelatory dream-poetry of the quotidian had not yet been crushed by blinkered, prosy fact. Himself a teller of tales, he had been driven out of his door by stories of wonder, and by one in particular, a story which could make his fortune or else cost him his life."
Author: Salman Rushdie
42. "In the circle where I was raised, I knew of no one knowledgeable in the visual arts, no one who regularly attended musical performances, and only two adults other than my teachers who spoke without embarrassment of poetry and literature — both of these being women. As far as I can recall, I never heard a man refer to a good or a great book. I knew no one who had mastered, or even studied, another language from choice. And our articulate, conscious life proceeded without acknowledgement of the preceding civilisations which had produced it."
Author: Shirley Hazzard
43. "Borderline means you're one of those girls……who walk around wearing long sleeves in the summer because you've carved up your forearms over your boyfriend. You make pathetic suicidal gestures and write bad poetry about them, listen to Ani DiFranco albums on endless repeat, end up in the emergency room for overdoses, scare off boyfriends by insisting they tell you that they love you five hundred times a day and hacking into their email to make sure they're not lying, have a police record for shoplifting, and your tooth enamel is eroded from purging. You've had five addresses and eight jobs in three years, your friends are avoiding your phone calls, you're questioning your sexuality, and the credit card companies are after you. It took a lot of years to admit that I was exactly that girl, and that the diagnostic criteria for the disorder were essentially an outline of my life."
Author: Stacy Pershall
44. "As things are, and as fundamentally they must always be, poetry is not a career, but a mug's game. No honest poet can ever feel quite sure of the permanent value of what he has written: He may have wasted his time and messed up his life for nothing."
Author: T.S. Eliot
45. "Considering the ways in which so many of us waste our time, what would be wrong with a world in which everybody were writing poems? After all, there's a significant service to humanity in spending time doing no harm. While you're writing your poem, there's one less scoundrel in the world. And I'd like a world, wouldn't you, in which people actually took time to think about what they were saying? It would be, I'm certain, a more peaceful, more reasonable place. I don't think there could ever be too many poets. By writing poetry, even those poems that fail and fail miserably, we honor and affirm life. We say ‘We loved the earth but could not stay."
Author: Ted Kooser
46. "Then what is good? The obsessive interest in human affairs, plus a certain amount of compassion and moral conviction, that first made the experience of living something that must be translated into pigment or music or bodily movement or poetry or prose or anything that's dynamic and expressivee--that's what's good for you if you're at all serious in your aims. William Saroyan wrote a great play on this theme, that purity of heart is the one success worth having. "In the time of your life--live!" That time is short and it doesn't return again. It is slipping away while I write this and while you read it, the monosyllable of the clock is Loss, loss, loss, unless you devote your heart to its opposition."
Author: Tennessee Williams
47. "To hold her, to keep her -- just as she was -- with her cruelty, with her vulgarity, with her blinding blue eyes, with her miserable poetry, with her fat feet, with her impure, dry, sordid, infantile soul. All of a sudden he thought: If people are reunited in Heaven (I don't believe it, but suppose), then how shall I stop it from creeping upon me, that shriveled, helpless, lame thing, her soul? But this is the earth, and I am, curiously enough, alive, and there is something in me and in life ---"
Author: Vladimir Nabokov
48. "But the chapel, that will never be prosaic. Those who have seen it outlined against the sunset or the full moon, those who have seen its sloping leaded roof-top glisten after a shower of rain, those who have looked down upon the world from its summit, all those who have seen these things will remember the poetry that it has taught them. And while each man changes from year to year, going through the continual changes that make a lifetime, the chapel remains always the same. When the rest of Cambridge is crumbling and in ruins, the chapel will still be standing, the last to fall to time as it is the last to fall to climbers."
Author: Whipplesnaith
49. "Poetry reveals to us the loveliness of nature, brings back the freshness of youthful feelings, reviews the relish of simple pleasures, keeps unquenched the enthusiasm which warmed the springtime of our being, refines youthful love, strengthens our interest in human nature, by vivid delineations of its tenderest and softest feelings, and through the brightness of its prophetic visions, helps faith to lay hold on the future life."
Author: William Ellery Channing
50. "Poetry is cathartic only for the unserious, for in front of the rush of expressive need stands the barrier of form, and when the hurdler's scissored legs and outstretched arms carry him over the bars, the limp in his life, the headache in his heart, the emptiness he's full of, are as absent as his street-shoes, which will pinch and scrape his feet in all the old leathery ways once the race is over and he has to walk through the front door of his future like a brushman with some feckless patter and a chintzy plastic prize."
Author: William H. Gass

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Author: Ava Gardner

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