Poetry is

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If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only way I know it. Is there any other way? – Emily Dickinson, L342a, 1870

Poetry is one of the ancient arts, and it began as did all the fine arts, within the original wilderness of the earth. – Mary Oliver

Poetry, I feel, is a tyrannical discipline. You’ve got to go so far so fast in such a small space; you’ve got to burn away all the peripherals. – Sylvia Plath, Radiointerview, 1962

Poetry is the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds. – Percy Bysshe Shelley, A Defence of Poetry (1821)