Some of my favourites include:


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


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


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


To be a poet is a condition, not a profession. Robert Frost (again)


What are your favourites?



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When writing about passionate things, do so in a dispassionate way. – Chekhov

Use no superfluous word, no adjective which does not reveal something. – Pound

When you're writing a poem, you're debating with yourself. – Peter Porter
Just found this collection of Allen Ginsburg's quotes on writing in the Huffington Post.

"Two decades' experiences teaching poetics at Naropa Institute, half decade at Brooklyn College, and occasional workshops at Zen Center & Shambhala/Dharmadhatu weekends have been boiled down to brief mottoes from many sources found useful to guide myself and others in the experience of writing the mind." --Allen Ginsberg


"First thought is best in Art, second in other matters." --William Blake

I. GROUND (Situation, or Primary Perception)

1. "First Thought, Best Thought" --Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche

2. "Take a friendly attitude toward your thoughts." --Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche

3. "The Mind must be loose." --John Adams

II. PATH (Method or Recognition)

23. "No ideas but in things." "...No ideas but in the Facts." --William Carlos Williams

24. "Close to the nose." --W.C.Williams

25. "Sight is where the eye hits." --Louis Zukofsky

III. FRUITION (Result or Appreciation)

50. Spiritus = Breathing = Inspiration = Unobstructed Breath

51. "Alone with the Alone" --Plotinus

52. Sunyata (Skt.) = Ku (Japanese) = Emptiness

Read the rest (83 in all) at the Huffington Post.
A brief lyric by Edna St Vincent Millay, which I have stuck in the front of my notebook :) -

'To Those Without Pity'
Cruel of heart, lay down my song.
Your reading eyes have done me wrong.
Not for you was the pen bitten,
And the mind wrung, and the song written.
I have always been quite fond of "A poet is a kind of liar who always tells the truth," though I don't know who originally said it.

Also "A poem is never finished, only abandoned." (That one is Paul Valéry.)
"To be a poet is a condition, not a profession" is my fave out of those. I don't want to call myself 'a poet' as I've only been writing poems for a short while and certainly haven't had anything published...but I do love it so! The reason I can relate to Frost's quote, is because I had to write a 130 line poem for one of my uni subjects this year and after opening myself up to the world of symbols in the hope that I would capture something amazing to jot down, I began to see my environment as nothing but. I became a living, breathing poem in motion....:)
what is poetry?

Poetry is about being brave and stupid all at once,
poem writing is to live and die on
paper and to transcend the mundane.
Watch out for the anti-poet!

"A great poet must be, implicite if not explicite, a profound metaphysician . . .for all sounds, and forms of human nature he must have the ear of a wild arab listening in the silent desert - the eye of a North American Indian tracing the footsteps of an enemy upon the leaves that strew the forest; the touch of a blind man feeling the face of a darling child"      

  - Coleridge to William Sotheby

Hi all, my favourite is from the cheeky Nietzsche ....

 "The subject for a great poet would be God's boredom after the seventh day"


This inspired me to write a poem called "Crazy Kitchen" based on this quote, although I don't claim to be a great poet :-)

It was getting late in the night --> yawn...I forgot to finish the quote. It should read as follows


"The subject for a great poet would be God's boredom after the seventh day of creation..."


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