“A good poem is a contribution to reality. The world is never the same once a good poem has been added to it. A good poem helps to change the shape of the universe, helps to extend everyone’s knowledge of himself and the world around him.”
– Dylan Thomas
“Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
– Dylan Thomas
“O may I join the choir invisible
Of those immortal dead who live again
In minds made better by their presence; live
In pulses stirred to generosity,
In deeds of daring rectitude…”
– George Eliot, O May I Join the Choir Invisible! And Other Favourite Poems
“Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
The lunatic, the lover and the poet
Are of imagination all compact:
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold,
That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt:
The poet’s eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.”
– William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
“I want to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.”
– Mary Oliver, Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays
I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there ’s a pair of us—don’t tell!
They ’d banish us, you know.
How dreary to be somebody! ”
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!
– Emily Dickinson, The Complete Poems
“You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”
– Khalil Gibran, The Prophet
“The bridge will only take you halfway there, to those mysterious lands you long to see. Through gypsy camps and swirling Arab fair, and moonlit woods where unicorns run free. So come and walk awhile with me and share the twisting trails and wondrous worlds I’ve known. But this bridge will only take you halfway there. The last few steps you have to take alone.”
– Shel Silverstein
“Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”
– Sarah Williams, Twilight Hours: A Legacy of Verse
“Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus; and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs, and peep about
To find ourselves dishonourable graves.”
– William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar