Having been tagged for a Meme-- by Collin Kelley-- to list the quotes which reflect my philosophy on poetry, I reviewed reams of papers I've saved for years, as well as double-checking(via the Internet) the identity of those quoted...
I should add here that the list I have drawn up also expresses opinion on what the poet him/herself is about, too.
Finally, after you read the famous folks' quotes, you may wish to read a few of my own statements on the art of writing, and writing poetry in particular, listed at the end of this post..
Collin listed a Sylvia Plath quote in his "Top Ten", and it is a long-time fav of mine, but I'll insist you check out Collin's Blog, to see which quote it is!
Without further delay, my "Top Ten":
"A poet can survive everything but a misprint."
"Peace goes into the making of a Poet as Flour goes into the making of Bread."
"When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses."
John F. Kennedy
(I, Lisa, think that the Kennedy quote is ESPECIALLY applicable to the times we currently(maybe always)live in.)
"Poets are never young, in one sense. Their delicate ear hears the far-off whispers of eternity, which coarser souls must travel towards for scores of years before their dull sense is touched by them. A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience."
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
"The sign and credentials of the poet are that he announces that which no man foretold."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"A poet is a painter of the soul."
"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 dashes back as a new organ of knowledge."
George Eliot(pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross)
"Poetry is to Prose as Dancing is to Walking."
"Soar, eat ether, see what has never been seen; depart, be lost, but climb."
Edna St. Vincent Millay
"The distinction between historian and poet is not in the one writing prose and the other verse...
the one describes the thing that has been, and the other a kind of thing that might be. Hence poetry is something more philosophic and of graver import than history, since its statements are of the nature rather of universals, whereas those of history are singulars."
Aristotle, from On Poetics
"Poetry is Truth, dwelling in Beauty."
"The poet doesn't invent. He listens."
"I don't create poetry, I create myself, for me my poems are a way to me."
Okay, I could not stop at merely ten quotes. So sue me....
Cleo Creech, and Theresa Davis!
For the record, here are a few of my own thoughts on Poetry--I'm quoting only the things I've said that others have told me are worth repeating-- so here goes:
When asked why I love Open-Mics/Spoken Word performances:
"That thing that happens, between the poet and the audience, that's Communion. It's a Sacrament...'Poetry Communion' ."
When my father said "Lisa, you have such a bubbly, outgoing personality--how come almost everything you write is, um, so dark?"
I answered, "You write what you don't talk about."
When I was asked recently by a reporter from the AJC Newspaper, in refernce to a Georgia-Tech sponsored competition which asks the poets to "center" a poem around a MARTA station(Atlanta's subway system)
"Lots of songs have been written about trains, but--underground trains--why write about that?"
I got a quick visual in my head, and I replied:
"That's a very perceptive, intuitive question, because you know what? Poetry is about the things just under the skin..."
By the way, that project the reporter Bo Emerson was asking me about, is called "Atlanta Rail", and my poem "For The Girl Who Rode Me To Downtown" was selected for the Arts Center Station in Atlanta... you can discover more about that competition by checking out Collin Kelley's Website, and his Blog for May, 2007, where he provides information on how to submit.....
Have a great Thursday, kids!