Quotes about Reading Poetry

He who draws noble delights from sentiments of poetry is a true poet, though he has never written a line in all his life. ~George Sand, 1851

The pleasure that poetry gives is that of imagining more than is written; the task is divided between the poet and his reader. ~Alexandre Vinet (1797–1847)

It is delightful to steep ourselves in poetry. ~Alexandre Vinet (1797–1847)

Compression of poetry is so great I often explode. Out of the house to walk off a poem. ~William Corbett, “On Reading: Notes & a Poem,” The Agni Review, No. 22 (1985)

“What are you going to read—something of Tennyson?”… And with a honeysuckle that Margaret remembered, for a bookmark, he found the place he wanted, and opened at “Elaine,” that loveliest of the idyls, and began to read…. It was a charmed hour. Lawrence Brook was a fine reader, and delighted in poetry. It touched his own heart, and had power over him, and so he received the power himself to touch all other hearts the same. Even the first three lines came to Margaret as a revelation of something fair in life she had not recognized, and her hands paused in their work, and her earnest eyes and breathless attention followed Lawrence Brook with every word he uttered…. Her quick imagination and sensitive heart seized upon the poem and its beauty as if it were a gift which now might be possessed forever. ~August Bell, “Quicksands of Love,” 1887

Reading poetry is letting your mind dance in the rain — no galoshes, no umbrella, just naked words and a rhythmic soul. ~Terri Guillemets

The poet is in the end probably more afraid of the dogmatist who wants to extract the message from the poem and throw the poem away than he is of the sentimentalist who says, “Oh, just let me enjoy the poem.” ~Robert Penn Warren, “The Themes of Robert Frost,” Hopwood Lecture, 1947

Happiness is sharing a bowl of cherries and a book of poetry with a shade tree. ~Terri Guillemets, “From the Library to the Park,” 1993