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Inspirational Poems

May you find encouragement in these Inspirational Poems.

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
- Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Related topics: Life Human-Nature Psychology Wisdom Live-By

Faith:
When you walk to the edge of all the light you have
and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown,
you must believe that one of two things will happen:
...
There will be something solid for you to stand upon,
or, you will be taught how to fly
- Patrick Overton - from his book of poems: The Leaning Tree, 1975
[Widely mis-attributed to Barbara J. Winter, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, and others]

Everyone thinks they're going to write one book of poems or one novel.
- Marilyn Hacker

How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.
- Robert Penn Warren

 

I still read Donne, particularly his love poems.
- Carol Ann Duffy

Sometimes poetry is inspired by the conversation entered
into by reading other poems.
- John Barton

We all write poems; it is simply that poets are the ones who write in words.
- John Fowles

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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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You don't help people in your poems.
I've been trying to help people all my life -
that's my trouble.
- Charles Olson

I like poems that are little games.
- Peter Davison

No poems can please for long or live that are written by water drinkers.
- Horace

There'll always be working people in my poems because I grew up with them,
and I am a poet of memory.
- Philip Levine

Each word bears its weight, so you have to read my poems quite slowly.
- Anne Stevenson

The title of the poems was The Only Bar in Dixon.
We sent it out to The New Yorker on a fluke,
and they took them and printed all three in the same issue.
- James Welch

Ginsberg's Collected Poems contains a wonderful poem
about making it with Neal Cassady.
- Thom Gunn

There's not too much difference between writing a picture
book and writing a collection of a hundred poems or so,
except that the bigger books take a lot longer to do.
- Jack Prelutsky

My favorite poets may not be your bread and butter.
I have more favorite poems than favorite poets.
- Rita Dove

A discrete series is a series of terms each of which is empirically derived,
each one of which is empirically true.
And this is the reason for the fragmentary character of those poems.
- George Oppen

By reason of weird translation, many such sets of instructions read like poems anyhow.
- Brian Ferneyhough

If I were brave enough to say so, I'd like to think
that I had written some poems that people are not going to forget.
- Peter Davison

Only truthful hands write true poems.
I cannot see any basic difference between a handshake and a poem.
- Paul Celan

For instance, it's a little better now than it was two or three years ago,
but something like 70% of the poems I receive seem
to be written in the present indicative.
- Peter Davison

We have a lot of long narrative poems written in the 20th century,
but they're not very well known, and they're not read by very many people.
- Robert Morgan

Indeed, I would venture to guess that Anon,
who wrote so many poems without signing them,
was often a woman.
- Virginia Woolf

The few bad poems which occasionally are created during
abstinence are of no great interest.
- Wilhelm Reich

I am a guest of the French language.
My poems in French are born of my interaction with the French language,
which is not the same as that of a French poet.
- Tahar Ben Jelloun

When I first started to write, I was aware of being queer,
but I didn't write about it.
Queer poems would probably not have been accepted by
the editors I sent them to.
- Thom Gunn

My poems - I don't even like the sound of that,
in a way.
Not that anyone else wrote them.
But we know that only people who are really close to
us care about our personal experience.
- Sharon Olds

I like Beethoven, especially the poems.
- Ringo Starr

As a friendly one.
I would still like to write concrete poems,
but I can only do it sometimes.
- Ian Hamilton Finlay

However, I began to submit poems to British magazines,
and some were accepted.
It was a great moment to see my first poems published.
It felt like entering a tradition.
- Helen Dunmore

I like poems that are complex.
- Peter Davison

As a child, what captivated me was reading the poems
myself and realizing that there was a world without
material substance which was nevertheless as alive as any other.
- Mary Oliver

Our poems will have failed if our readers are not brought
by them beyond the poems.
- Muriel Rukeyser

Every so often I find some poems that are too good
for the readers of The Atlantic because they are a
little too involved with the nature of poetry,
as such.
- Peter Davison

Once I planned to write a book of poems entirely about the things in my pocket.
But I found it would be too long; and the age of the great epics is past.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

I write the poems first, with only a few exceptions for odd reasons,
where I'm given the illustration first.
- Jack Prelutsky

These poems, with all their crudities,
doubts, and confusions, are written for the love of
Man and in praise of God,
and I'd be a damn' fool if they weren't.
- Dylan Thomas

Each poem in becoming generates the laws by which it is generated:
extensions of the laws to other poems never completely take.
- A. R. Ammons

I was writing notes, but not composing poems.
The Hunter began to develop out of this fragmented process.
- George Murray

Why does one always ask a writer why they stopped?
I am sure everyone finds in any drawer a few dear poems.
- Peter Bichsel

I've always thought my poems told stories.
- Douglas Dunn

The number of people writing poems is vast,
and their reasons for doing so are many,
that much can be surmised from the stacks of submissions.
- Mark Strand

It's easy to understand why the most beautiful poems
about England in the spring were written by poets living in Italy at the time.
- Philip Dunne

I used to carry about with me a German map-case filled with poems.
- John Hawkes

I tend to like poems that engage me -
that is to say,
which do not bore me.
- Mark Strand

Well, "The Wellspring" was written from 1983 to 1986.
And it had a section in the beginning that was poems
that began from others' experience.
- Sharon Olds

I like poems you can tack all over with a hammer and
there are no hollow places.
- John Ashbery

The best books of our times have included the three
mature volumes of Philip Larkin.
They're very short books of poems, and very carefully arranged.
- Robert Morgan

It may be said that poems are in one way like icebergs:
only about a third of their bulk appears above the surface of the page.
- Howard Nemerov

I love chapbooks.
They're in some ways the ideal form in which to publish and read poems.
You can read 19 poems in a way you can't sit down and
read 60 to 70 pages of poems.
- Robert Morgan

In our period, they say there is free speech.
They say there is no penalty for poets,
There is no penalty for writing poems.
They say this.
This is the penalty.
- Muriel Rukeyser

What we call a poem is mostly what is not there on the page.
The strength of any poem is the poems that it has managed to exclude.
- Harold Bloom

We read Robert Browning's poetry.
Here we needed no guidance from the professor:
the poems themselves were enough.
- Carl Sandburg

Many of my poems are not sexual.
- Thom Gunn

I also write poems, so that is something that I really enjoy.
- Billy Sherwood

I don't write poems and put them to music.
Just let things flow.
- Martin Gore

I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many
poems without signing them,
was often a woman.
- Virginia Woolf

Southern poets are still writing narrative poems,
poems in forms, dramatic poems.
- Robert Morgan

My poems are almost all written as Diane.
I don't have any problems with that,
and if other women choose to identify with this,
I think that's terrific.
- Diane Wakoski

I seem to keep returning to my father in poems because
his personality was so extreme,
so driven.
He did everything to excess.
- Robert Morgan

I consider my films to be poems that are all as personal
as my writing and as hand-made.
- James Broughton

I would not say I chose to write long poems on a conscious level.
The long poem has been a relative constant.
- John Barton

Criticism starts - it has to start -
with a real passion for reading.
It can come in adolescence, even in your twenties,
but you must fall in love with poems.
- Harold Bloom

I try to apply colors like words that shape poems,
like notes that shape music.
- Joan Miro

I admire Ginsberg as a poet, despite the fact that
he seems not to know when he is being good and when he is bad.
But he will last, or at least those poems will last.
- Leslie Fiedler

I've thought of the last line of some poems for years and tried them out,
It wouldn't work because the last line was much too beautiful for the poem.
- Howard Nemerov

I wanted a perfect ending.
Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme,
and some stories don't have a clear beginning,
middle and end.
- Gilda Radner

And Robert Lowell, of course - in his poems,
we're not located in his actual life.
We're located more in the externals,
in the journalistic facts of his life.
- Mark Strand

Of course the other and more serious way in which it
all happens is that one finds in poems and language
some quality one appropriates for oneself and wishes to reproduce.
- Robert Fitzgerald

What I'm fighting for now in my work...
for an expression relevant to all manner of blacks,
poems I could take into a tavern, into the street,
into the halls of a housing project.
- Gwendolyn Brooks

People can put their best poems straight onto the web.
- Roger McGough


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May the world be kind to you,
and may your own thoughts be gentle upon yourself.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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