Thursday, April 09, 2009

April is National Poetry Month!!!!!

Photo by Tina Modotti


Better writers than I have shared their thoughts about the essential and ephemeral joy of poetry.....


A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.
Robert Frost

A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom.
Robert Frost

A poem is never finished, only abandoned.
Paul Valery

A poem is true if it hangs together. Information points to something else. A poem points to nothing but itself.
E. M. Forster

A poet can survive everything but a misprint.
Oscar Wilde

A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language. W. H. Auden

A poet looks at the world the way a man looks at a woman. Wallace Stevens

A poet must leave traces of his passage, not proof. Rene Char

A poet's autobiography is his poetry. Anything else is just a footnote. Yevgeny Yevtushenko

A poet's work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep.
Salman Rushdie

A prose writer gets tired of writing prose, and wants to be a poet. So he begins every line with a capital letter, and keeps on writing prose.
Samuel McChord Crothers

A true poet does not bother to be poetical. Nor does a nursery gardener scent his roses.
Jean Cocteau

All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.
Oscar Wilde

Always be a poet, even in prose.
Charles Baudelaire

Any healthy man can go without food for two days - but not without poetry.
Charles Baudelaire

Children and lunatics cut the Gordian knot which the poet spends his life patiently trying to untie.
Jean Cocteau

Each memorable verse of a true poet has two or three times the written content.
Alfred de Musset


Even when poetry has a meaning, as it usually has, it may be inadvisable to draw it out... Perfect understanding will sometimes almost extinguish pleasure.
A. E. Housman

Everything one invents is true, you may be perfectly sure of that. Poetry is as precise as geometry.
Gustave Flaubert

Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.
T. S. Eliot

God is the perfect poet. Robert Browning

He who draws noble delights from sentiments of poetry is a true poet, though he has never written a line in all his life.
George Sand

I've written some poetry I don't understand myself.
Carl Sandburg

If Galileo had said in verse that the world moved, the inquisition might have let him alone.
Thomas Hardy

No poems can please for long or live that are written by water drinkers.
Horace

One merit of poetry few persons will deny: it says more and in fewer words than prose.
Voltaire

Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.
Plutarch

Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason.
Novalis

Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary.
Kahlil Gibran

Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted.
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Poetry is a phantom script telling how rainbows are made and why they go away.
Carl Sandburg

Poetry is a way of taking life by the throat.
Robert Frost

Poetry is all that is worth remembering in life. William Hazlitt

Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.
Carl Sandburg

Poetry is an orphan of silence. The words never quite equal the experience behind them.
Charles Simic

Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.
Leonard Cohen

Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.
Rita Dove

Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history. Plato

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 emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.
T. S. Eliot

Poetry is ordinary language raised to the Nth power. Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words.
Paul Engle

Favorite poetry books -- in no particular order

Odes to Common Things -- Neruda

Ode to Opposites -- Neruda

I Praise My Destroyer --- Ackerman

Loose Woman --- Cisneros

Full Woman, Fleshly Apple, Hot Moon -- Neruda
My Own True Name --- Mora

Furious Cooking --- Seaton

Selected Poetry of Yehuda Amichai

Selected Poetry of W. B. Yeates

My Nature is Hunger --- Rodriguez

what i'm on -- Valadez


Favorite Poems (at the moment)
When You Are Old and Full of Sleep -- Yeates
Wildflowers -- Ackerman

Ulysses -- Tennyson

Lisa Alvarado

9 comments:

msedano said...

Leave it to Carl Sandburg to express my favorite, "'ve written some poetry I don't understand myself. Carl Sandburg". And to add, "Poetry is a constant reminder of all the things that can be said in only one language." Yvor Winters. "Unless the poet is bilingual." Michael Sedano.

Anonymous said...

Great cuts!
Your two Neruda books I just happen to use with first and second graders, in Spanish. Worth a read and having, too.
RudyG

peripatos said...

I remember going to a reading by Yevgeny Yevtushenko in Berkeley, CA. A powerful poet; a humanist poet.

Silvio Sirias said...

Very clever posting. I loved the use of quotes.

Silvio

Kristine said...

June Sobel gave me your blog addresss ... I'm glad I visited. What lovely poetry quotes! And I love Pablo Neruda and often share ODES TO ORDINARY THINGS with students.

Daniel said...

I loved all the quotes,
Soaked in the ink-blood of bygone days,
A token and a shield whispering,
In the night the breezes give voice,
Starshine and moonbeams now concrete.

Poetry cleans the heart,
Entombs memories in shining glass,
Leaves you with wanting and wishing,
Swirls your mind in an endless sea.

Seas are ever-changing,
Yet all are water.

AquarianM

Linda Rodriguez said...

A lovely post, Lisa. Well-chosen quotes. Great list. Thanks, Linda

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the quotes about the essence of poetry. I developing an outline for my second novel. And the first two chapters are written in narrative prose. However, I shocked the heck out of myself when the third chapter, about a little girl living through the magical time of Christmas in WWII L.A., started to rhyme. A first, I thought I was going crazy. But, now that I read all your quotes, I realize that poetry is just another one of my writer's tools. Gracias!
Norma Landa Flores

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the quotes about the essence of poetry. I'm developing an outline for my second novel. And the first two chapters are written in narrative prose. However, I shocked the heck out of myself when the third chapter, about a little girl living through the magical time of Christmas in WWII L.A., started to rhyme. At first, I thought I was going crazy. But, now that I read all your quotes, I realize that poetry is just another one of my writer's tools. Gracias!
Norma Landa Flores