Treasure Island

Quotations About / On: POEM

  • 41.
    But the divinest poem, or the life of a great man, is the severest satire.... The greater the genius, the keener the edge of the satire.
    (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. 329, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)
    More quotations from: Henry David Thoreau, poem, life
  • 42.
    The writing of a poem is like a child throwing stones into a mineshaft. You compose first, then you listen for the reverberation.
    (James Fenton (b. 1949), British poet, critic. Ars Poetica, no. 22, Independent on Sunday (London, June 24, 1990).)
    More quotations from: James Fenton, poem, child
  • 43.
    Yet poetry, though the last and finest result, is a natural fruit. As naturally as the oak bears an acorn, and the vine a gourd, man bears a poem, either spoken or done. It is the chief and most memorable success, for history is but a prose narrative of poetic deeds.
    (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. 94, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)
  • 44.
    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).)
    More quotations from: Henry David Thoreau, poem
  • 45.
    Yet America is a poem in our eyes; its ample geography dazzles the imagination, and it will not wait long for metres.
    (Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "The Poet," Essays, Second Series (1844).)
  • 46.
    A revolutionary poem will not tell you who or when to kill, what and when to burn, or even how to theorize. It reminds you ... where and when and how you are living and might live—it is a wick of desire.
    (Adrienne Rich (b. 1929), U.S. poet, essayist, and lesbian feminist. What Is Found There, ch. 28 (1993).)
    More quotations from: Adrienne Rich, poem
  • 47.
    Writers don't write from experience, although many are hesitant to admit that they don't. ...If you wrote from experience, you'd get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy.
    (Nikki Giovanni (b. 1943), U.S. poet. Black Women Writers at Work, ch. 5, by Claudia Tate (1983).)
    More quotations from: Nikki Giovanni
  • 48.
    For it is not metres, but a metre-making argument, that makes a poem,—a thought so passionate and alive, that, like the spirit of a plant or an animal, it has an architecture of its own, and adorns nature with a new thing.
    (Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "The Poet," Essays, Second Series (1844). Emerson, anticipating post-modern philosophy, often grappled with what it meant to make an argument. He questioned what narrow logical and philosophical modes of analysis actually could achieve and surmised that art and whimsy and other "illogical" flights of the imagination could also attempt to lend an accurate, or even true, picture of the way reality works and we work in/on reality.)
  • 49.
    I've never read a political poem that's accomplished anything. Poetry makes things happen, but rarely what the poet wants.
    (Howard Nemerov (1920-1991), U.S. poet, novelist, critic. International Herald Tribune (Paris, October 14, 1988).)
    More quotations from: Howard Nemerov, poem, poetry
  • 50.
    One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.
    (Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, bk. 5, ch. 1 (1795-1796), trans. by Thomas Carlyle.)
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