“I dig old books.” ™
A vein of Poetry exists in the hearts of all men; no man is made altogether of Poetry. We are all poets when we read a poem as well. ~Thomas Carlyle, "The Hero as Poet," lecture, 1840
To form the complete poet, neither heart only, nor head only, is sufficient; the complete poet must have a heart in his brain, or a brain in his heart. ~George Darley
There can be poetry in the writings of a few men; but it ought to be in the hearts and lives of all. ~John Sterline
True poets are those who have received from God, together with the gift of expression, the power of penetrating further than others into the things of the heart and the life. ~Alexandre Vinet (1797–1847)
Poetry is plucking at the heartstrings, and making music with them. ~Dennis Gabor
Poetry mends a broken arrow then shoots us in the heart with it. ~Terri Guillemets, "Love, life, poetry," 2016
The flowery Path of Poetry but ill accords with the thorny Mazes of the Law; in the one I have wandered with rapture from Infancy, and I have endeavoured to grace the other with a simple but lasting Ornament — Integrity of Heart. ~Charles Snart, "Dedication, to Robert Lowe, Esq. Oxton," 1807 January 1st, Newark, Selection of Poems
Poetry often brings consolation to the heart which prose has failed to touch... ~Luigi, 1884 [Luigi is pseudonym for a still-unknown female compiler.
Pleasant images in pleasant words...
of hope, and love, and melody,
the gushings of an overburdened heart...
~James Gates Percival (1795–1856), "Love of Study," c.1822 [a little altered
[I]t is not health, it is convalescence that is poetical. Just as certain plants only yield all their fragrance to the fingers that crush them, so it is only in a state of suffering that certain affections utter all their poetry. ~Alexandre Vinet (1797–1847)
There is a pleasure in poetic pains
Which only poets know.
...poetry to make tears flow that would otherwise be poisonous if swallowed... ~Nina George, The Little Paris Bookshop, 2013, translated by Simon Pare, 2015
"That's the way of poets," said Warrington. "They fall in love, jilt, or are jilted; they suffer, and they cry out that they suffer more than any other mortals: and when they have experienced feelings enough, they note them down in a book, and take the book to market. All poets are humbugs, all literary men are humbugs; directly a man begins to sell his feelings for money he's a humbug. If a poet gets a pain in his side from too good a dinner, he bellows Ai, Ai, louder than Prometheus." ~William Makepeace Thackeray, The History of Pendennis, 1850
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
You don't have to suffer to be a poet. Adolescence is enough suffering for anyone. ~John Ciardi, Simmons Review, Fall 1962
Her skull was cracked—
not tragically, just poetically.
It's how the poems got in,
~Terri Guillemets, "Cracked," 1994
Here he had read to me his tear-stained page
Of sorrow... here would try
To lay his burden in the hands of Song,
And make the Poet bear the Lover's wrong,
But still his heart impatiently would cry:
"In vain, in vain! You cannot teach to flow
In measured lines so measureless a woe.
First learn to slay this wild beast of despair,
Then from his harmless jaws your honey tear!"
~Bayard Taylor, "First Evening"
Emily: Most people quote love poems.
Ben: Nah, I prefer a dirge. It's like a different kind of love poem.
~Rachel Axler and Alena Smith, "A brief, but patient illness," Dickinson, 2019
Poetry cries melodic tears of verse. ~Terri Guillemets
Poetry comes with anger, hunger and dismay; it does not often visit groups of citizens sitting down to be literary together, and would appall them if it did. ~Christopher Morley, John Mistletoe
Soldiers in the war of poetry
Bleed silky rose petals and glittering thorns
And leave behind beautiful inked destruction—
Embattled souls wounded, and healed.
There's so much prose in life that now and then,
A tender song of pity stirs the heart,
A simple lay of love from fevered pen,
Makes in some soul the unshed tear-drops start.
Sing, poets! sing for aye your sweetest strain,
For life without its poetry were vain!
~S.J. Adair Fitz-Gerald (1859–1925), The Zankiwank & The Bletherwitch, 1896
Poetry should never hurt. It may stab you with poetic pangs of melancholy but shouldn't ever hurt as life does. ~Terri Guillemets