Rhymes, meters, stanza forms, etc., are like servants. If the master is fair enough to win their affection and firm enough to command their respect, the result is an orderly happy household. If he is too tyrannical, they give notice; if he lacks authority, they become slovenly, impertinent, drunk and dishonest.
This poem will never reach its destination. [On Rousseau’s Ode To Posterity]
As to ”Don Juan,” confess that it is the sublime of that there sort of writing; it may be bawdy, but is it not good English? It may be profligate, but is it not life, is it not the thing? Could any man have written it who has not lived in the world? and tooled...
A mighty good sausage stuffer was spoiled when the man became a poet.
It is as impossible to translate poetry as it is to translate music.
Poetry must be as new as foam and as old as the rock.
We must believe that ”emotion recollected in tranquillity” is an inexact formula. For it is neither emotion, nor recollection, nor without distortion of meaning, tranquillity. It is a concentration, and a new thing resulting from the concentration of a very great number of experiences which to the practical and active person would not seem to...
Verses which do not teach men new and moving truths do not deserve to be read.
Painting was called silent poetry and poetry speaking painting.
Poetry makes nothing happen. It survives in the valley of its saying.