What is Poetry?



If I read a book [and] it makes my whole body so cold no fire ever can warm me I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only way I know it. Is there any other way?

Emily Dickinson


Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.

Percy Byshe Shelley


Everywhere I go I find that a poet has been there before me.

Sigmund Freud


Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.

William Wordsworth


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


Poetry is the art of substantiating shadows, and of lending existence to nothing.

Edmund Burke


All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.

Oscar Wilde


Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.

Leonard Cohen


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