For National Poetry Day 2014, here are our ten favourite quotes from writers, artists, and thinkers about poetry.
If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry. – Emily Dickinson
The first man to compare the cheeks of a young woman to a rose was obviously a poet; the first to repeat it was possibly an idiot. – Salvador Dali
A poem begins with a lump in the throat. – Robert Frost
It is a part of the poet’s work to show each man what he sees but does not know he sees. – Edith Sitwell
To find beauty in ugliness is the province of the poet. – Thomas Hardy
There is no money in poetry, but then there is no poetry in money, either. – Robert Graves
A good poet is someone who manages, in a lifetime of standing out in thunderstorms to be struck by lightning 5 or 6 times. – Randall Jarrell
Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words. – Edgar Allan Poe
As a poet I would say everything should be able to come into a poem but I can’t put toothbrushes in a poem. I really can’t. – Sylvia Plath [PS: T. S. Eliot disagreed, and had already done so: see his ‘Rhapsody on a Windy Night‘]
The prose writer drags meaning along with the rope. The poet makes it stand on end and hit you. – T. E. Hulme
Image: The ‘Annie’ Daguerreotype of Edgar Allan Poe, author unknown, public domain.