ENG 102 | ENG 102 Handouts | Poetry Project
"A poem begins with a lump in the throat, a home-sickness or a love-sickness. It is a reaching-out toward expression; an effort to find fulfillment. A complete poem is one where the emotion has found its thought and the thought has found the words."
First published in Robert Frost: The Man and His Work. New York: Henry Holt, 1923.
"Poetry...is an ancient art or technology: older than the computer, older than print, older than writing and indeed, though some may find this surprising, much older than prose. I presume that the technology of poetry, using the human body as its medium, evolved for specific uses; to hold things in memory, both within and beyond the individual life span; to achieve intensity and sensuous appeal; to express feelings and ideas rapidly and memorably. To share those feelings and ideas with companions, and also with the dead and with those to come after us."
Source: The Sounds of Poetry: A Brief Guide. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1998:
Robert Pinsky served as America's Poet Laureate, 1997-2000.
We shall not have it [poetry] "till the poets among us can be 'literalists of the imagination'--above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, 'imaginary gardens with real toads in them.'"
"At least since Emerson and Whitman, there's a cult of experience in American poetry. Our poets, when one comes right down to it, are always saying: This is what happened to me. This is what I saw and felt. Truth, they never get tired of reiterating, is not something that already exists in the world, but something that needs to be rediscovered almost daily."
From "Poetry and Experience"
"Poetry is a kind of listening. Poetry was meant to go into the eye and the heart."
Theodore Roethke (1908-1963)
"You must believe: a poem is a
holy thing -- a good poem, that is."
From On Poetry and Craft: Selected Prose of Theodore Roethke. Copper Canyon Press. 2000.
Poetry is the "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings; it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility."
From Preface to the second edition of Lyrical Ballads
"Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotion know what it means to want to escape from these.”
"You need to read good poetry with an attitude that is a mixture of sharp intelligence and of willing emotional empathy, at once penetrating and generous."
"Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”
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