"With me poetry has not been a purpose, but a passion; and the passion should be held in reverence; they must not—they cannot at will be excited, with an eye to the paltry compensations, or the more paltry commendations, of mankind."
-Edgar Allan Poe
"Forgive me my nonsense as I also forgive the nonsense of those who think they talk sense."
"The novel, that secondary form, can teach us how to act; the poem, and music, how to feel; and the feeling is vastly more important."
-Theodore Roethke, 1963
"The weak poet is magnetized toward some popular mystique or even religion. The strong poet is always the heretic and the saint."
-Karl Shapiro, 1960
"Losing your way on a journey is unfortunate. But, losing your reason for the journey is a fate more cruel."
-H. G. Wells
"In the unpredictable and fearful future that awaits civilization, the poet must be prepared to be alienated and indestructible. He must dedicate himself to poetry, although no one else seems likely to read what he writes; and he must be indestructible as a poet until he is destroyed as a human being."
-Delmore Schwartz, 1951
"The poet-priest had two functions: lawgiver and comforter. He had to know what laws to give, what comfort to give, what comfort to withhold as false. The poet has far less power now, but the job has not changed. He must affirm, comfort as he can, and make it stick."
-John Gardner, On Moral Fiction (1978) pp.174-175.
“Be vigilant, for nothing one achieves lasts forever."
-Tahar Ben Jelloun, Moroccan poet
“You'll never plow a field by turning it over in your mind."
“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit."
-E.E. Cummings, American poet
“Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
-Matsuo Basho, Japanese poet
"I'll walk where my own nature would be leading: It vexes me to choose another guide."
-Emily Brontë, British poet
"Affection is the most important thing. And the quality of affection -- with your friends, your lovers, your family. But particularly for your own generation."
-Allen Ginsberg, American poet
"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."
-George Bernard Shaw
"I want to live my life so that my nights are not full of regrets."
“I believe in getting into hot water; it keeps you clean."
“To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else."
-Emily Dickinson, American poet
“A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it."
-Jean de la Fontaine, French writer and poet
"Many people believe that reading poetry is good for the soul. Personally, I can’t recommend poetry. I don’t have time to read anything that's deliberately hard to figure out. If I wanted to read something that didn’t make sense, I’d just read Maria Shriver’s book."
-Al Franken, Oh, the Things I Know! (2000) p.104.
“Not all those who wander are lost."
-J.R.R. Tolkien, writer, philologist, professor, and poet