The courage of the poet is to keep ajar the door that leads to madness. ~Christopher Morley, Inward Ho!
Poet, madman, or lover — all three should be one and the same thing… ~Marie Corelli, A Romance of Two Worlds, “Chapter IX: An Electric Shock,” 1886
We poets in our youth begin in gladness;
But thereof come in the end despondency and madness.
Perhaps no person can be a poet, or can even enjoy poetry, without a certain unsoundness of mind, if anything which gives so much pleasure can be called unsoundness…. Truth, indeed, is essential to poetry, but it is the truth of madness. The reasonings are just, but the premises are false. After the first suppositions have been made, everything out to be consistent; but those first suppositions require a degree of credulity which almost amounts to a partial and temporary derangement of the intellect. ~Thomas Babington Macaulay
Children and lunatics cut the Gordian knot which the poet spends his life patiently trying to untie. ~Jean Cocteau
I have thought
Too long and darkly, till my brain became,
In its own eddy boiling and o’erwrought,
A whirling gulf of phantasy and flame.
I am half mad
Between metaphysics, mountains, lakes,
Love unextinguishable, thoughts unutterable,
And the nightmare of my own delinquencies.
~Lord Byron [Mash-up quote. Childe Harold, III, vii, and letter to Moore, 1817 January 28th, poeticized.