A poem is one undivided, unimpeded expression fallen ripe into literature, and it is undividedly and unimpededly received by those for whom it was matured.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 1, p. 350, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)
The award of a pure gold medal for poetry would flatter the recipient unduly: no poem ever attains such carat purity.
(Robert Graves (1895-1985), British poet, novelist. Address, January 1960, to the Oxford University Philological Society. "Poetic Gold," Oxford Addresses on Poetry (1962).
Graves had been awarded a gold medal for services to poetry by the National Poetry Society of America.)