We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.
The heart is a symbol or it is nothing. Now take away the symbol and what do you have? It’s a fistful of muscle of no more aesthetic interest than a bladder. Now, to remove a man’s heart is to traffic in symbol. And who better equipped for such labor than a poet?[to Landor]
Only people who know loss can really appreciate Byron. But those people should only taste him sparingly. Otherwise, they’ll be left more deeply in their sorrow.[to Captain Benwick]
Sometimes the most beautiful poetry can be about simple things, like a cat, or a flower, or rain. You see, poetry can come from anything with the stuff of revelation in it. Just don’t let your poems be ordinary.
It is the great misfortune of poetry that it’s seldom enjoyed safely by those capable of enjoying it completely.