Start early today

Quotes by 3 of my favorite American Poets

Walt Whitman was an American poet, essayist, and journalist who is considered one of the most influential poets in American literature. Here are some of his most famous quotes:

1. “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.”

2. “Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.”

3. “I exist as I am, that is enough.”

4. “The future is no more uncertain than the present.”

5. “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

6. “The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity.”

7. “I am not the poet of goodness only, I do not decline to be the poet of wickedness also.”

8. “The strongest and sweetest songs yet remain to be sung.”

9. “I am for those who believe in loose delights, I share the midnight orgies of young men.”

10. “I am as bad as the worst, but, thank God, I am as good as the best.”

11. “The genius of the United States is not best or most in its executives or legislatures, nor in its ambassadors or authors or colleges, or churches, or parlors, nor even in its newspapers or inventors, but always most in the common people.”

12. “The whole theory of the universe is directed unerringly to one single individual – namely, to You.”

13. “The proof of a poet is that his country absorbs him as affectionately as he has absorbed it.”

14. “I am the poet of the body and I am the poet of the soul.”

15. “I am the teacher of athletes, He that by me spreads a wider breast than my own proves the width of my own.”

16. “I am the poet of the woman the same as the man.”

17. “I am the poet of the earth, and I am the poet of the people.”

18. “I am the poet of the poor, because I was poor myself.”

19. “I am the poet of democracy, and I am the poet of individuality.”

20. “I am the poet of the city, and I am the poet of the open road.”

Mary Oliver was an American poet who was known for her nature-inspired poetry and her ability to capture the beauty and wonder of the natural world. Here are some of her most famous quotes:

1. “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

2. “Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”

3. “The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.”

4. “To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.”

5. “You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.”

6. “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.”

7. “Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.”

8. “The world’s full of stories. But the stories are all one.”

9. “I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in singing, especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed.”

10. “Listen–are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?”

11. “The most important thing is to be awake and alive and to feel everything.”

12. “Attention is the beginning of devotion.”

13. “The uses of poetry are not to cure us of being afraid, but to remind us that we are not alone in our fears.”

14. “I don’t ask for the sights in front of me to change, only the depth of my seeing.”

15. “The world’s big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.”

16. “I want to be improbable and beautiful and afraid of nothing as though I had wings.”

17. “The most beautiful thing in the world is, of course, the world itself.”

18. “The poet is always willing to be surprised by what he finds.”

19. “The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention.”

20. “The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

Maya Angelou was an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist who is known for her powerful and inspiring words. Here are some of her most famous quotes:

1. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

2. “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

3. “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”

4. “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”

5. “I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.”

6. “I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as making a ‘life.'”

7. “I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.”

8. “I’ve learned that people will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls.”

9. “I’ve learned that you should never underestimate the power of a good outfit on a bad day.”

10. “I’ve learned that you can’t go through life with a chip on your shoulder, because sooner or later it will fall off.”

11. “I’ve learned that you can’t change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying about the future.”

12. “I’ve learned that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.”

13. “I’ve learned that people forget what you said, people forget what you did, but people never forget how you made them feel.”

14. “I’ve learned that you should never judge a book by its cover, but by the way it makes you feel.”

15. “I’ve learned that you should never be afraid to try something new, because life gets boring when you stay within the limits of what you already know.”

16. “I’ve learned that you should never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.”

17. “I’ve learned that you should always be kinder than necessary, because everyone you meet is