Poetry Quotes: Self & Soul

Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric; out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry. ~W.B. Yeats

The poet illuminates us by the flames in which his being passes away. ~Alexandre Vinet (1797–1847)

Poetry is an inky soulprint. ~Terri Guillemets

A poet’s autobiography is his poetry. Anything else is just a footnote. ~Yevgeny Yentushenko, The Sole Survivor, 1982

Each man carries within him the soul of a poet who died young. ~Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve

I don’t create poetry, I create myself, for me my poems are a way to me. ~Edith Södergran

The true poem is the poet’s mind. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The poet speaks to all men of that other life of theirs that they have smothered and forgotten. ~Edith Sitwell

[P]oetry… the spontaneous fusion of hitherto unrelated words. Such things must take place in your own head, by your own chemistry. ~Marie Emilie Gilchrist (1893–1989), Writing Poetry: Suggestions for Young Writers, 1932

My chief aim is to make a poem. You make it for yourself firstly, and then if other people want to join in then there we are. ~R.S. Thomas (1913–2000)

Poetry treks through our souls and tells us in rhyme of the adventure. ~Terri Guillemets

You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some of it with you. ~Joseph Joubert

The poem is the point at which our strength gave out. ~Richard Rosen

Pressure cranks and presses Life, squeezing out essence of self, aromatic with bittersweet memories, pungent adversities, and the honey-musk of desire — the vapors hover over our inkpots, and if we pick up the feather it becomes our poetry. ~Terri Guillemets

Poetry — soul cartography.
~Terri Guillemets, “Treasure seeking you,” 2003

Poetry tosses my pen across
the vast tumbling seas of self,
intermittent sunshine glistening
off the spilt ink,—
storms breaking ideas & words
that sink then emerge
and sink again.
~Terri Guillemets, “Overboard poet,” 1992