Poet Quotes

We can learn more about poetry by reading quotes from a few well known poets.

"Success is liking yourself,
liking what you do,
and liking how you do it."

Maya Angelou Maya Angelou

"Peace goes into the making of a poem




Image of Pablo Neruda
Pablo Neruda



as flour goes into the making of bread."

James Autry
James Autry


"I kept thinking how disconnected it is to travel by jetliner. That technological womb with its inhumanity made me think about greyhound busses in Mississippi. Some of the first poems came from those thoughts."


"Cowboy poetry is often funny. I think that stems from the close relationship between humor and tragedy. If you work with livestock you get hurt...A lot! Bit, stepped on, mashed, smashed, bucked off or run over on a regular basis.

If yer in the corral and one of yer amigos gets bucked off, everybody rides over to see if he's alright. If he's alive you start tellin' the story right away! If he's dead, you wait a couple of days!
Humor helps you dust yerself off and git back on again."

Baxter Black Baxter Black
Stanley Kunitz
Stanley Kunitz


~ To live as a poet in this culture is the aesthetic equivalent of a major political statement.

~ Beware of manifestos: they are the death of poetry.

~ A poet is a citizen, like any other. One of the obligations of citizenship is participation in the political process.



"There was nothing new about free verse except in the minds of illiterate academicians and quiet formalists like William Dean Howells, who called Spoon River "shredded prose."

I had had too much study in verse, too much practice too, to be interested in such worthless experiments as polyphonic prose, an innovation as absurd as Dadaism or Cubism or Futurism or Unanimism, all grotesqueries of the hour, and all worthless, since they were without thought, sincerity, substance. "

Edgar Lee Masters Edgar Lee Masters
Charles Olson
Charles Olson


" A poem is energy transferred

from where the poet got it...

by way of the poem itself to,

all the way over to the reader."




How Poetry Comes to Me

It comes blundering over the
Boulders at night, it stays
Frightened outside the
Range of my campfire
I go to meet it at the
Edge of the light

Gary Snyder

Gary Snyder

black and white


Site created and maintained by Diana Mackiewicz, M.Ed.
January 2004.

Last updated Summer, 2013

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