Quotes for
the Journey:


There is not a particle of life
which does not bear poetry within it.

Gustave Flaubert


The point of diving in a lake is not immediately to swim to the shore, but to be in the lake. To luxuriate in the sensation of water.  You do not work the lake out; it is an experience beyond thought.  Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept mystery.     -John Keats


Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric; out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry.     -W.B. Yeats

If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for to the creator there is no poverty and no poor indifferent place.     Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
The poetry of the earth is never dead.      -John Keats
Poetry puts starch in your backbone so you can stand, so you can compose your life.     -Maya Angelou
A poet's work . . . to name the unnamable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world and stop it from going to sleep.      -Salman Rushdie
A good poem is a contribution to reality. The world is never the same once a good poem has been added to it. A good poem helps to change the shape of the universe, helps to extend everyone's knowledge of ourselves and the world around us.     -Dylan Thomas

Always learn poems by heart. They have to become the marrow in your bones. Like fluoride in the water, they'll make your soul impervious to the world's soft decay.     -Janet Fitch
With me poetry has not been a purpose, but a passion.     -Edgar Allan Poe
Whereas story is processed in the mind in a straightforward manner, poetry bypasses rational thought and goes straight to the limbic system and lights it up like a brushfire. It's the crack cocaine of the literary world.     -Jasper Fforde
Poetry, she thought, wasn't written to be analyzed; it was meant to inspire without reason, to touch without understanding.     -Nicholas Sparks
Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason.      -Novalis
Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.     -T.S. Eliot
It was at that age
that poetry came in search of me.

Pablo Neruda
To be a poet is a condition, not a profession.      -Robert Frost
If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?     -Emily Dickinson
One day while studying a Yeats poem I decided to write poetry the rest of my life.  I recognized that a single short poem has room for history, music, psychology, religious thought, mood, occult speculation, character, and events of one's own life.  I still feel surprised that such various substances can find shelter and nourishment in a poem.  A poem in fact may be a sort of nourishing liquid, such as one uses to keep an amoeba alive.  If prepared right, a poem can keep an image or a thought or insights on history or the psyche alive for years, as well as our desires and airy impulses.     -Robert Bly
A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.     -Robert Frost
Poetry is eternal graffiti written in the heart of everyone.     -Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Everywhere I go, I find a poet has been there before me.      -Sigmund Freud
Poetry is just the evidence of life.  If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.      -Leonard Cohen
Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.      -Leonardo da Vinci
This, I thought, is how great visionaries and poets see everything--as if for the first time.  Each morning they see a new world before their eyes; they do not really see it, they create it.      -Nikos Kazantzakis

Loneliness is necessary for pure poetry.  When someone intrudes into the poet's life (and any sudden personal contact, whether in the bed or in the heart, is an intrusion) the poet loses his or her balance for a moment, slips into being what he or she is, uses his or her poetry as one would use money or sympathy.  The person who writes the poetry emerges, tentatively, like a hermit crab from a conch shell.  The poet, for that instant, ceases to be a dead person.     -Jack Spicer
That's the main business of the poem!--to see if you can't make up a language that sets all your selves talking at once--all of them being fair to each other.      -Richard Wilbur
The great function of poetry is to give back to us the situations of our dreams.      -Gaston Bacheland

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We rely upon the poets, the philosophers, and the playwrights to articulate what most of us can only feel, in joy or sorrow.  They illuminate the thoughts for which we only grope; they give us the strength and balm we cannot find in ourselves.  Whenever I feel my courage wavering I rush to them.  They give me the wisdom of acceptance, the will and resilience to push on.     -Helen Hayes
Working with children on the writing of poetry has led me to ponder the ways that most of us become exiled from the certainties of childhood; how it is that the things we most treasure when we're young are exactly those things we come to spurn as teenagers and young adults.  Very small children are often conscious of God, for example, in ways that adults seldom are.  They sing to God, they talk to God, they recognize divine presence in the world around them. . . . Yet these budding theologians often despise church by the time they're in eighth grade.
   In a similar way, the children who un-selfconsciously make up songs and poems when they're young--I once observed a three-year-old singing a passionate ode to the colorful vegetables in a supermarket--quickly come to regard poetry as meaningless and irrelevant. . . . I wonder if children don't begin to reject both poetry and religion for similar reasons, because the way both are taught takes the life out of them.  If we teach children when they're young to reject their epiphanies, then it's no wonder that we end up with so many adults who are poetically and theologically illiterate.     -Kathleen Norris, The Cloister Walk


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