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.)
What would we not give for some great poem to read now, which would be in harmony with the scenery,for if men read aright, methinks they would never read anything but poems. No history nor philosophy can supply their place.
(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. 93, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)
Let us dismiss, as irrelevant to the poem per se, the circumstance ... which, in the first place, gave rise to the intention of composing a poem that should suit at once the popular and the critical taste.
(Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), U.S. author. "The Philosophy of Composition," Graham's Magazine (1846).
Disingenuously dismissing private motives.)