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Poets & Poetry

Use this guide to deepen your appreciation of and to explore information and resources related to poets and poetry. 

Use this guide to deepen your appreciation of and to explore information and resources related to poets and poetry.  

“Poetry, by its nature, is a ganglion of memories, impressions, influences. A poem without secrets lies dead on the page. Words themselves come to us dragging their roots behind them: roots that are as long as the history of the language.” -- Stanley Kunitz ( July 29, 1905 – May 14, 2006) was an American poet. He was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress twice, first in 1974 and then again in 2000.

Learn more about poets and poetry

"Poetry is writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound and rhythm." (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

poetry word cloud

What is a poet?

In Lyrical Ballads, Wordsworth puts a question to himself:  What is a poet?  Then he replies:  "He is a man speaking to men; a man endowed with more lively sensibility, more enthusiasm and tenderness, who has a greater knowledge of human nature, and a more comprehensive soul, than are supposed to be common among mankind".  Poetry humanizes mankind. "Poetry’s object is truth, not individual and local, but general and universal.  Poetry is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge; the objects of the poet's thoughts are everywhere covering the vast empire of human society.  As a result, the reader of poetry must necessarily be in some degree enlightened, and his affections strengthened.  Poetry is the first and last of all knowledge - it is as immortal as the heart of man."

Wordsworth poetry quote with poet's likeness

Source: Lyrical Ballads (1798-1800)


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