Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?
You speak of Lord Byron and me—there is this great difference between us. He describes what he sees—I describe what I imagine. Mine is the hardest task.
We hate poetry that has a palpable design upon us—and if we do not agree, seems to put its hand in its breeches pocket. Poetry should be great and unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one's soul, and does not startle it or amaze it with itself, but with its subject.
Call the world if you please "the vale of soul-making." Then you will find out the use of the world.
The roaring of the wind is my wife and the stars through the window pane are my children. The mighty abstract idea I have of beauty in all things stifles the more divided and minute domestic happiness.
Who would wish to be among the commonplace crowd of the little famous—who are each individually lost in a throng made up of themselves?
Land and sea, weakness and decline are great separators, but death is the great divorcer for ever.
There is nothing stable in the world; uproar's your only music.
With a great poet the sense of Beauty overcomes every other consideration, or rather obliterates all consideration.
Poetry should surprise by a fine excess and not by singularity—it should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance.