On Poetry

"'Look, do you see that poem?' she said suddenly, pointing." -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

"'I should rather call it a picture,' said Jane. 'A poem is lines and verses.'
'Oh dear me, no.' Anne shook her head with its fluffy wild cherry coronal positively. 'The lines and verses are only the outward garments of the poem and are no more really it than your ruffles and flounces are you Jane. The real poem is the soul within them…and that beautiful bit is the soul of an unwritten poem. It is not every day one sees a soul…even of a poem.'" -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

"Everybody who has ever lived in the world and could string two rhymes together has written a poem on spring. It is the most be-rhymed subject in the world – and always will be, because it is poetry incarnate itself. You can never be a real poet if you haven't made at least one poem about spring." -L.M. Montgomery, Emily of New Moon

"I used to read everything, Professor, I read all the time.  Now all I read is poetry.  Poetry is the one thing that isn't contaminated, the one thing that isn't part of the game.  I don't know if you follow me, Professor.  Only poetry – and let me be clear, only some of it – is good for you, only poetry isn't shit." -Roberto Bolaño (Translated by Natasha Wimmer), 2666

"'To be a poet is to have a soul so quick to discern, that no shade of quality escapes it, and so quick to feel, that discernment is but a hand playing with finely ordered variety on the chords of emotion – a soul in which knowledge passes instantaneously into feeling, and feeling flashes back as a new organ of knowledge. One may have that condition by fits only.'" -George Eliot, Middlemarch

"'I don't know. Poets are always taking the weather so personally. They're always sticking their emotions in things that have no emotions.'" -J.D. Salinger, "Teddy," Nine Stories

"…a poem is like a rare little watch: alter the delicate juxtaposition of cogs, and it just may not tick." -Sylvia Plath, Letters Home

"For some reason, no one likes to be told that they do not read enough poetry…" -Virginia Woolf, Night and Day

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