Poetry Quotes: Music

Rhyme is the music of the poetic dance. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher’s Stone, 1882

My poetry, I think, has become the way of my giving out what music is within me. ~Countee Cullen (1903–1946)

The world is full of Poetry—the air
Is living with its spirit; and the waves
Dance to the music of its melodies,
And sparkle in its brightness. Earth is veiled,
And mantled with its beauty; and the walls,
That close the universe, with crystal, in,
Are eloquent with voices, that proclaim
The unseen glories of immensity…
~James G. Percival, “Poetry,” c.1822

A poet is an unhappy being whose heart is torn by secret sufferings, but whose lips are so strangely formed that when the sighs and the cries escape them, they sound like beautiful music… and then people crowd about the poet and say to him: “Sing for us soon again;” that is as much as to say, “May new sufferings torment your soul.” ~Søren Kierkegaard

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. His auditors are as men entranced by the melody of an unseen musician, who feel that they are moved and softened, yet know not whence or why. ~Percy Bysshe Shelley

Poetry is plucking at the heartstrings, and making music with them. ~Dennis Gabor

Poetry dyes your soul with a melody half yours and half the poet’s. ~Terri Guillemets, “Reading Poetry,” 1994

…to create a perpetual feeling of enchantment by the constant but unobtrusive employment of the most beautiful and melodious words… a painter and musician in speech… ~Richard Garnett, April 1897, Introduction to The Poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge

[I]f I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once a week; for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied would thus have been kept active through use. The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature. ~Charles Darwin