Quotes about Writing Poetry

You can’t write poetry on the computer. ~Quentin Tarantino

And take back ill-polished stanzas to the anvil. ~Horace, quoted in James Wood, Dictionary of Quotations from Ancient and Modern, English and Foreign Sources, 1893

I prefer the absurdity of writing poems
to the absurdity of not writing poems.
~Wisława Szymborska (1923–2012), “Possibilities,” 1997, translated from the Polish by Clare Cavanagh and Stanisław Barańczak

Writing poetry
is letting go—
once the words leave your pen
they’re out of your soul
and have no way back in.
~Terri Guillemets

Any method is good that produces a good poem. ~Helen Smith Bevington (1906–2001), When Found, Make a Verse Of, 1961

A poet cannot stop writing poems — an ink-stained soul compels his obsession. ~Terri Guillemets

If you know what you are going to write when you’re writing a poem, it’s going to be average. ~Derek Walcott

“Therefore” is a word the poet must not know. ~André Gide

It is the job of poetry to clean up our word-clogged reality by creating silences around things. ~Steven Mallarmé

The poet doesn’t invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau

Poets smoke nature and beauty and angst and exhale swirling plumes of poetry. ~Terri Guillemets

If you got to talking to most cowboys, they’d admit they write ’em. I think some of the meanest, toughest sons of bitches around write poetry. ~Ross Knox

A true poet does not bother to be poetical. Nor does a nursery gardener scent his roses. ~Jean Cocteau

Poetry is everywhere; it just needs editing. ~James Tate

Poetry nests in our souls
until it flies away on
the feather of a quill.
~Terri Guillemets, “Nesting,” 2009

A poet carrying a thought from his mind into expression is like a child bearing a bucket brimming with water from the well to the house,—part of the contents is spilled. ~Austin O’Malley (1858–1932), Thoughts of a Recluse, 1898

Poets are like baseball pitchers. Both have their moments. The intervals are the tough things. ~Robert Frost

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

Breathe-in experience,
breathe-out poetry.
~Muriel Rukeyser