In poetry and in eloquence the beautiful and grand must spring from the commonplace…. All that remains for us is to be new while repeating the old, and to be ourselves in becoming the echo of the whole world.
~Alexandre Vinet (1797–1847)
Poetry,—the language of the Imagination and the Passions,—the oldest and most beauteous offspring of Literature.
~Frederick Hinde, Poetry, a lecture delivered in London on the evening of April 8, 1858
The courage of the poet is to keep ajar the door that leads to madness.
~Christopher Morley, Inward Ho!
It is vain for the sober man to knock at poesy’s door.
No poems can please for long or live that are written by water-drinkers.
The true poet is all the time a visionary and whether with friends or not, as much alone as a man on his death bed.
A poet is an unhappy being whose heart is torn by secret sufferings, but whose lips are so strangely formed that when the sighs and the cries escape them, they sound like beautiful music… and then people crowd about the poet and say to him: “Sing for us soon again;” that is as much as to say, “May new sufferings torment your soul.”
~ Søren Kierkegaard
Poetry is the revelation of a feeling that the poet believes to be interior and personal which the reader recognizes as his own.
To have great poets there must be great audiences too.
The sublimity of poetry, you see, lies in the fact that it does not take an educated person to understand it and to love it. On the contrary. The educated do not understand it, and generally they despise it, because they have too much pride. To love poetry it is enough to have a soul,—a little soul, naked, like a flower. Poets speak to the souls of the simple, of the sad, of the sick. And that is why they are eternal. Do you know that, when one has sensibility, one is always something of a poet?
~Octave Mirbeau, A Chambermaid’s Diary / Le Journal d’une Femme de Chambre, 1900, translated from the French by Benjamin R. Tucker
No man was ever yet a great poet, without being at the same time a profound philosopher. For poetry is the blossom and the fragrancy of all human knowledge, human thoughts, human passions, emotions, language.
~S.T. Coleridge (1772–1834), Biographia Literaria, 1817