Poet Emmo Poetry News and Quotes

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With great sadness I must inform you that Poet Emmo passed away, after a long and painful illness, on Sunday November 30, 2003. He is now at peace, the suffering and pain have gone, and I hope he is in a place of hope and contentment, where he may continue with his love of writing poetry.  I will maintain this website in his honour, Poet Emmo's webmaster.

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Quotable Poetry Quotes

Who among us has not, in moments of ambition, dreamt of the miracle of a form of poetic prose, musical but without rhythm and rhyme, both supple and staccato enough to adapt itself to the lyrical movements of our souls, the undulating movements of our reveries, and the convulsive movements of our consciences? This obsessive ideal springs above all from frequent contact with enormous cities, from the junction of their innumerable connections.

Charles Baudelaire (1821–67), French poet. Dedication of Le Spleen de Paris, in La Presse (Paris, 26 Aug. 1862; repr. in Complete Works, vol. 1, "Shorter Prose Poems," ed. by Yves-Gérard le Dantec; rev. by Claude Pichois, 1953).


We read poetry because the poets, like ourselves, have been haunted by the inescapable tyranny of time and death; have suffered the pain of loss, and the more wearing, continuous pain of frustration and failure; and have had moods of unlooked-for release and peace. They have known and watched in themselves and others.

Elizabeth Drew (1887–1965), Anglo-American author, critic. Poetry: A Modern Guide to Its Understanding and Enjoyment, pt. 2, ch. 7 (1959).


Poetry is the language in which man explores his own amazement . . . says heaven and earth in one word . . . speaks of himself and his predicament as though for the first time. It has the virtue of being able to say twice as much as prose in half the time, and the drawback, if you do not give it your full attention, of seeming to say half as much in twice the time.

Christopher Fry (b. 1907), British playwright. Time (New York, 3 April 1950).


All good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity.

William Wordsworth (1770–1850), English poet. Preface to Lyrical Ballads (2nd ed., 1801). This sentiment, which is a central tenet in Wordsworth’s criticism, has parallels in Schiller, Über Bürgers Gedichte, as well as Coleridge, Notebooks, in which he speaks of "recalling passion in tranquillity."


If a poet has any obligation toward society, it is to write well. Being in the minority, he has no other choice. Failing this duty, he sinks into oblivion. Society, on the other hand, has no obligation toward the poet. A majority by definition, society thinks of itself as having other options than reading verses, no matter how well written. Its failure to do so results in its sinking to that level of locution at which society falls easy prey to a demagogue or a tyrant. This is society’s own equivalent of oblivion.

Joseph Brodsky (b. 1940), Russian-born U.S. poet, critic. Less Than One: Selected Essays, "To Please a Shadow," sct. 2 (1986; first published 1983).


 

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