Thursday, August 11, 2011

12 Quotes from Great Poets - They Had Something to Say

Once upon a time, people went to bookstores, bought books of poetry, and read them. A book of poetry could become a best-seller. People would sit and talk about new works from the major poets. Those days are over.

Emily Dickinson, circa 1848
Poetry was killed by the liberal, anything-goes revolution of the 1960s. After a while, it became politically incorrect to declare what was good poetry and what was bad. This allowed anyone to write whatever they wanted and declare themselves poets. How nice. But this left the true, accomplished poets high and dry. Most stopped writing because there wasn't much appreciation or a market for good poetry anymore. Oh well, nothing lasts forever.

Besides, people who love good poetry have centuries of wonderful classics to enjoy.

Which I do. I also collect the wisdom of poets in the form of quotes. Most poets are ultra-sensitive, ultra-thoughtful people. So they had important things to say, and not always in verse.

A few of my favorites...

PASSION - "My candle burns at both ends, it will not last the night But ah, my foes and oh, my friends, It gives a lovely light"! - Edna St. Vincent Millay, American poet (1892-1950)

COOPERATION - “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main....any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” - John Donne, British poet (1572-1631)

PERSEVERANCE - “Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.” - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American poet (1807-1882)

SELF-AWARENESS - "Oh, what a great gift we would have if we could only see ourselves as others see us." - Robert Burns, Scottish poet (1759-1796)

OPTIMISM - “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” - Anne Bradstreet, British poet (1612-1672)

SELF-DEVELOPMENT - “You can stay young as long as you learn.” - Emily Dickinson, American poet (1830-1886)

INITIATIVE - "All the beautiful sentiments in the world weigh less than a single lovely action." - James Russell Lowell, American poet (1819-1891)

FRIENDSHIP - "Music I heard with you was more than music, and bread I broke with you was more than bread." - Conrad Aiken, American poet (1889-1973)

RESPONSIBILITY - "Enlightenment means taking full responsibility for your life." - William Blake, British poet (1757-1827)

SELF-ESTEEM - "It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are." - E. E. Cummings, American poet (1894-1962)

COURAGE - "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest." - Maya Angelou, American author (1928- )

SPIRITUALITY - “The natural world is a spiritual house. . . . Man walks there through forests of physical things that are also spiritual things.” - Charles Baudelaire, French poet (1821-1867)

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2011. Building Personal Strength .

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