Poetry Quotes: Philosophy

It seems as though poetry and philosophy were twin stars of different but harmonious colours, each shining in the other’s light, and shedding a twofold radiance upon their attendant planets. ~Henry James Slack (1818–1896), The Ministry of the Beautiful, 1850

What is poetry but impassioned truth — philosophy in its essence — the spirit of that bright consummate flower, whose root is in our bosoms? ~Ebenezer Elliott (1781–1849), Preface to Corn Law Rhymes, 1831

No man was ever yet a great poet, without being at the same time a profound philosopher. For poetry is the blossom and the fragrancy of all human knowledge, human thoughts, human passions, emotions, language. ~S.T. Coleridge (1772–1834), Biographia Literaria, 1817

Poetry is to philosophy what the Sabbath is to the rest of the week. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

The distinction between historian and poet is not in the one writing prose and the other verse… the one describes the thing that has been, and the other a kind of thing that might be. Hence poetry is something more philosophic and of graver import than history, since its statements are of the nature rather of universals, whereas those of history are singulars. ~Aristotle, On Poetics

[I]n every part of this eastern world, from Pekin to Damascus, the popular teachers of moral wisdom have immemorially been poets… ~William Jones, “On the Philosophy of the Asiaticks,” eleventh anniversary discourse, delivered 1794 February 20th

Without philosophy there can be no true poetry: without it pretty verses may, indeed, be made; but in order to be really a poet it is essential to be also, up to a certain point, a philosopher. ~Alexandre Vinet (1797–1847)