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  1. All good verses are like impromptus made at leisure —Joseph Joubert
  2. Composed poetry … like a dancer working at the barre, continually exercising the power of imagining, like a muscle that demanded flexing and stretching —Arthur A. Cohen
  3. Explaining how you write poetry … it’s like going round explaining how you sleep with your wife —Phillip Larkin
  4. He [the poet] approaches lucid ground warily, like a mariner who is determined not to scrape his bottom on anything solid. A poet’s pleasure is to withhold a little of his meaning, to intensify by mystification —E. B. White
  5. Like science, poetry must fix its thought in thing and symbol —Dilys Laing
  6. Like a piece of ice on a hot stove the poem must ride on its own melting —Robert Frost
  7. Like marijuana smoke are poet’s verses —Jaroslav Seifert
  8. Poems are like people … there are not many authentic ones around —Robert Graves
  9. The poet is like the prince of the clouds who rides the tempest … exiled on the ground, amidst boos and insults, his giant’s wings prevent his walking —Charles Baudelaire
  10. Poetry is like light —Delmore Schwartz
  11. Poetry is like painting; one piece takes your fancy if you stand close to it, another if you keep at some distance —Horace
  12. Poetry … is like spray blown by some wind from a heaving sea, or like sparks blown from a smouldering fire: a cry which the violence of circumstances wrings from some poor fellow —George Santayana
  13. Poets … are conductors of the senses of men, as teachers and preachers are the insulators —Karl Shapiro

    The simile is taken from a prose poem entitled As You Say (not without sadness), Poets Don’t See They Feel It contains another simile which sheds light on the poet as one who strips away insulation: “He pulls at the seams [of insulation] like a boy whose trousers are cutting him in half.”

  14. Poets are like baseball pitchers. Both have their moments. The intervals are the tough things —Robert Frost
  15. Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo —Don Marquis, The Sun Dial, 1878
  16. Rhymes you as fast as a sailor will swear —Babette Deutsch

    The simile is from a poem honoring John Skelton.

  17. They [poets] are honored and ignored like famous dead Presidents —Delmore Schwartz
  18. To try to read a poem with the eyes of the first reader who read it is like trying to see a landscape without the atmosphere that clothes it —W. Somerset Maugham
  19. To write a lyric is like having a fit, you can’t have one when you wish you could … and you can’t help having it when it comes itself —Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  20. Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down —Robert Frost
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
One need not question the greatness of Browning in owning the fact that the two poets of his day who preeminently voiced their generation were Tennyson and Longfellow; though Browning, like Emerson, is possibly now more modern than either.
THE fifteenth century, the century in which King James I reigned and died, has been called the "Golden Age of Scottish Poetry," because of the number of poets who lived and wrote then.
It is an abominable drink, unworthy of a man who quenches his thirst at the Hippocrene fountain -- is not it so you call your fountain, you poets?"
Soon a great national dynasty arrives whose Emperors are often patrons of literature and occasionally poets as well.
All the greatest of these writers were poets, wholly or in part, and they fall roughly into two groups: first, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey, and Walter Scott; and second, about twenty years younger, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and John Keats.
"But they were poets," retorted Rosalind; "you don't call poets natural.
"So have I heard thee say once before," answered the disciple, "and then thou addedst: 'But the poets lie too much.' Why didst thou say that the poets lie too much?"
Theologians think it a pretty air-castle to talk of the Spiritual meaning of a ship or a cloud, of a city or a contract, but they prefer to come again to the solid ground of historical evidence; and even the poets are contented with a civil and conformed manner of living, and to write poems from the fancy, at a safe distance from their own experience.
People do, indeed, add the word 'maker' or 'poet' to the name of the metre, and speak of elegiac poets, or epic (that is, hexameter) poets, as if it were not the imitation that makes the poet, but the verse that entitles them all indiscriminately to the name.
Browning, among English poets, second to Shakespeare alone--"He comes very near the gigantic total of [43] Shakespeare." The quantity of his work?
"I see no reason, then, why our metaphysical poets should plume themselves so much on the utility of their works, unless indeed they refer to instruction with eternity in view; in which case, sincere respect for their piety would not allow me to express my contempt for their judgment; contempt which it would be difficult to conceal, since their writings are professedly to be understood by the few, and it is the many who stand in need of salvation.
Two Poets were quarrelling for the Apple of Discord and the Bone of Contention, for they were very hungry.