Poetry Quotes: Inspiring Words From Famous Poets And Authors

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Did you know that poetry has been around for thousands of years? In fact, some of the earliest forms of poetry can be traced back to ancient civilizations like the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians.

Poetry has always been a way for people to express their emotions, thoughts, and ideas in a creative and artistic way. And while many people may not consider themselves to be poets, almost everyone can appreciate the beauty of a well-crafted poem.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of inspiring poetry quotes from some of the most famous poets and authors throughout history. These words will not only give you a new appreciation for the art form, but they may also inspire you to try your hand at writing poetry yourself.

So whether you’re a seasoned poet or just starting out, read on for some truly inspiring words from the likes of Maya Angelou, Robert Frost, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and Langston Hughes.

Key Takeaways

  • Poetry is a creative way to express emotions, thoughts, and ideas that has been used throughout history by Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians.
  • Famous poets like Robert Frost, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and Langston Hughes created impactful poetry that continues to inspire readers today.
  • Maya Angelou used her struggles as inspiration to create powerful poetry and prose that helped advance civil rights activism.
  • Each poet had their unique style and message, from Dickinson’s introspective works to Hughes’ demand for change and celebration of African American culture.

Maya Angelou

You can’t help but be moved by Maya Angelou’s powerful words and inspiring messages. Her legacy and impact on literature and civil rights activism is immeasurable.

As an African American woman, Angelou faced countless obstacles and challenges in her life, but she never let those struggles hold her back. Instead, she used them as a source of inspiration to create some of the most impactful poetry and prose of the 20th century.

Angelou’s journey as a writer and civil rights activist began at a young age when she was first exposed to the power of words. She began writing poetry at the age of nine, and by the time she was a teenager, she had already experienced the racism and discrimination that would shape her writing and activism for years to come.

Throughout her life, Angelou fought for equality and justice, using her words to inspire generations of activists and artists. Her legacy serves as a reminder that even in the face of adversity, we can use our voices to create meaningful change in the world.

Reading Maya Angelou's poetry about civil rights activism
Reading Maya Angelou’s poetry about civil rights activism

Robert Frost

Let’s talk about Robert Frost, a famous American poet.

He once said, “The best way out is always through.”This quote reminds us to face our problems head-on and keep moving forward.

Another famous quote of his is, “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”This is a powerful reminder that life is full of ups and downs, but we must keep going.

“The best way out is always through.”

Honestly, who needs a shortcut when the best way out is always through? This quote by Robert Frost speaks volumes about the importance of persistence and resilience in overcoming obstacles.

As a poet, Frost knew all too well the struggles and challenges that come with the creative process. Whether it’s dealing with writer’s block or facing criticism from others, the road to success is rarely easy. But instead of giving up or looking for an easier way out, Frost believed in pushing through the difficulties and finding a way to overcome them.

This mindset is essential not just for poets, but for anyone looking to achieve their goals. It’s easy to get discouraged when things don’t go according to plan, but the key is to keep moving forward and never give up.

As Frost famously wrote in another poem, “The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.”…and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”

Life’s an ever-flowing river, and the lesson is that it goes on, succinctly put by Robert Frost. It’s important to remember that life doesn’t stop for anyone, and sometimes we have to deal with changes beyond our control. But the key is to keep moving forward, even when it feels like the world’s against us.

Here are some tips to help you deal with change and keep pushing forward:

  • Embrace the uncertainty: Change can be scary, but it can also be exciting. Instead of focusing on the unknown, try to embrace it and see it as an opportunity for growth.
  • Take it one step at a time: Moving forward doesn’t have to mean making huge leaps. Sometimes it’s enough to take small steps in the right direction, and over time those steps will add up.
  • Find support: It’s okay to ask for help when you need it. Whether it’s talking to a friend, seeking advice from a mentor, or joining a support group, having a support system can make all the difference in helping you navigate through change.

Remember, life’s all about the journey, and sometimes the journey takes us down unexpected paths. But as long as we keep moving forward, we can handle anything that comes our way.

Walt Whitman

As you read Walt Whitman’s poetry, you can feel the raw emotion and unbridled passion in every word. His writing style is renowned for its free verse and unconventional structure that broke away from traditional forms of poetry.

Whitman’s influence on American literature is immeasurable, and his poetry continues to inspire and captivate readers to this day. His ability to capture the essence of humanity in his poetry is what sets him apart from other poets. His writing reflects the beauty and complexity of life, and his words resonate with readers on a deep, emotional level.

As you delve into Whitman’s poetry, you will find yourself transported to a world where anything is possible, and the power of the human spirit is limitless. Whitman’s legacy is a testament to the fact that true innovation comes from breaking away from convention and letting your creativity run free.

reading walt whitman's poetry about humanity
Reading Walt Whitman’s poetry about humanity

Emily Dickinson

You’ll feel like you’ve stumbled upon a hidden treasure trove when you discover Emily Dickinson’s works. Her poetry is a reflection of her innermost thoughts and feelings, with vivid descriptions and wise sayings that paint a picture of the world around you.

Her poems have captured the hearts of millions and are studied by scholars and literary enthusiasts alike. Emily Dickinson’s poetry is not only beautiful, but it’s also complex and requires interpretation techniques to fully understand its meaning.

Literary analysis of her works reveals hidden messages and themes that speak to the human experience. Her unique style and use of language have inspired generations of poets and writers, making her an essential figure in the world of literature.

Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes’ works are a reflection of the African American experience, with vivid descriptions and relatable themes that resonate with readers from all backgrounds. As a prominent figure during the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes used his writing to shed light on the struggles and injustices faced by the black community. His poems and essays were infused with a passionate political activism that challenged the status quo and demanded change.

To truly understand the depth of Hughes’ impact, it’s important to delve deeper into his work. His poetry often explored the complexities of identity and the search for belonging, highlighting the struggles of marginalized communities. At the same time, his writing celebrated the beauty and resilience of African American culture, showcasing the richness and diversity of a community that was often overlooked.

Through his words, Hughes inspired a generation to embrace their heritage and to fight for a better future.


Hopefully, their inspiring words have left a lasting impression on you and encouraged you to explore the world of poetry even further.

In a way, poetry is like a garden, where each line is a delicate flower that needs to be nurtured and cared for. It takes time, effort, and patience to cultivate a beautiful garden, just like it takes practice, dedication, and commitment to create a beautiful poem.

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Jessica started off as an avid book reader. After reading one too many romance novels (really... is it ever really enough?), she decided to jump to the other side and started writing her own stories. She now shares what she has learned (the good and the not so good) here at When You Write, hoping she can inspire more up and coming wordsmiths to take the leap and share their own stories with the world.