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Willmott, the English essayist, says poetry is the natural religion of literature.
      - William R. Alger

Poetry is the sister of Sorrow. Every man that suffers and weeps is a poet; every tear is a verse, and every heart a poem.
      - Marc Andre

A poet is someone who is astonished by everything.
      - Anonymous

Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history, for poetry expresses the universal, and history only the particular.
      - Aristotle

Poetry is something more philosophical and more worthy of serious attention than history.
      - Aristotle

Poetry interprets in two ways: it interprets by expressing, with magical felicity, the physiognomy and movements of the outward world; and it interprets by expressing, with inspired conviction, the ideas and laws of the inward world of man's moral and spiritual nature. In other words, poetry is interpretative both by having natural magic in it, and by having moral profundity.
      - Matthew Arnold

Poetry is simply the most beautiful, impressive, and widely effective mode of saying things.
      - Matthew Arnold

The grand style arises in poetry, when a noble nature, treats with simplicity or with severity a serious subject.
      - Matthew Arnold

Poetry is itself a thing of God;
  He made his prophets poets;and the more
    We feel of poesie do we become
      Like God in love and power,--under-makers.
      - Philip James Bailey, Festus (Proem, l. 5)

I gave up on new poetry myself thirty years ago, when most of it began to read like coded messages passing between lonely aliens on a hostile world.
      - Russell Baker

It is very difficult to pass from pleasure to work. Accordingly more poems have been swallowed up by sorrow than ever happiness caused to blaze forth in unparalleled radiance.
      - Honore de Balzac

Poetry is only born after painful journeys into the vast regions of thought.
      - Honore de Balzac

I've read some of your modern free verse and wonder who set it free.
      - John Barrymore

Poetry is the robe, the royal apparel, in which truth asserts its divine origin.
      - Henry Ward Beecher

'Twas he that ranged the words at random flung,
  Pierced the fair pearls and them together strung.
      - Bidpai (Pilpay), Anvari Suhaili,
        (Eastwick's rendering)

Poetry should be vital--either stirring our blood by its divine movements or snatching our breath by its divine perfection. To do both is supreme glory, to do either is enduring fame.
      - Augustine Birrell

Poetry is that art which selects and arranges the symbols of thought in such a manner as to excite the imagination the most powerfully and delightfully.
      - William Cullen Bryant

Poetry is the eloquence of verse.
      - William Cullen Bryant

The poet in prose or verse--the creator--can only stamp his images forcibly on the page in proportion as he has forcibly felt, ardently nursed, and long brooded over them.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

You speak
  As one who fed on poetry.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton,
        Richelieu (act I, sc. 1)

Poetry is the art of substituting shadows, and of lending existence to nothing.
      - Edmund Burke

Poetry, with all its obscurity, has a more general as well as a more powerful dominion over the passions than the art of painting.
      - Edmund Burke

For rhyme the rudder is of verses,
  With which, like ships, they steer their courses.
      - Samuel Butler (1), Hudibras
         (pt. I, canto I, l. 463)

Some force whole regions, in despite
  O' geography, to change their site;
    Make former times shake hands with latter,
      And that which was before come after;
        But those that write in rhyme still make
          The one verse for the other's sake;
            For one for sense, and one for rhyme,
              I think's sufficient at one time.
      - Samuel Butler (1), Hudibras
         (pt. II, canto I, l. 23)

Nor florid prose, nor honied lies of rhyme,
  Can blazon evil deeds, or consecrate a crime.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

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