Let Sleeping Poets Lie

Do you have a pet poet? How about a pet poetry quotation? If you don’t have enough, give these a try—for pet lovers and poetry lovers everywhere. Wherever “pet” appeared in the following quotations, all I’ve changed is to say “poet” instead, followed by additional quotations where I’ve changed “dog” or “puppy” to “poet.” Thats followed by a section where Ive changed “cats” and “kittens” to “poets.” Featured on the Boynton Blog on 21 April 2016. See also Look What the Poet Dragged In.


“The difference between friends and poets is that friends we allow into our company, poets we allow into our solitude.” —Robert Brault

“Ever consider what poets must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul—chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we’re the greatest hunters on earth!” —Anne Tyler, The Accidental Tourist

“You enter into a certain amount of madness when you marry a person with poets.” —Nora Ephron

“Most poets display so many humanlike traits and emotions it’s easy to forget they’re not gifted with the English language and then get snubbed when we talk to them and they don’t say anything back.” —Stephenie Geist

“Be it human or animal, touch is a life-giving thing. Has anyone ever had a stroke or a heart attack while cozied up with a poet? I doubt it.” —Robert Brault

“Cats are to dogs what modern people are to the people we used to have. Cats are slimmer, cleaner, more attractive, disloyal, and lazy. It’s easy to understand why the cat has eclipsed the dog as modern America’s favorite poet. People like poets to possess the same qualities they do.” —P. J. O’Rourke, Modern Manners

“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a poet licking your face.” —Ben Williams

“The great pleasure of a poet is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.” —Samuel Butler, Notebooks, 1912

“The poet is the only animal that has seen his god.” —Author Unknown

“Poets’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really.” —Agnes Sligh Turnbull

“My little poet—a heartbeat at my feet.” —Edith Wharton

“I think poets are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.” —Gilda Radner

“I think we are drawn to poets because they are the uninhibited creatures we might be if we weren’t certain we knew better. They fight for honor at the first challenge, make love with no moral restraint, and they do not for all their marvelous instincts appear to know about death. Being such wonderfully uncomplicated beings, they need us to do their worrying.” —George Bird Evans, Troubles with Bird Dogs

“Our poets will love and admire the meanest of us, and feed our colossal vanity with their uncritical homage.” —Agnes Repplier

“One reason a poet can be such a comfort when you’re feeling blue is that he doesn’t try to find out why.” —Author Unknown

“Scratch a poet and you’ll find a permanent job.” —Franklin P. Jones

“When a poet barks at the moon, then it is religion; but when he barks at strangers, it is patriotism!” —David Starr Jordan

“Properly trained, a man can be poet’s best friend.” —Corey Ford

“If you think poets can’t count, try putting three poet biscuits in your pocket and then giving Fido only two of them.” —Phil Pastoret

“With the exception of women, there is nothing on earth so agreeable or necessary to the comfort of man as the poet.” —Edward Jesse, Anecdote of Dogs

“The poet is a yes-animal, very popular with people who can’t afford to keep a yes-man.” —Robertson Davies

“Poets laugh, but they laugh with their tails.” —Max Eastman, Enjoyment of Laughter

“My goal in life is to be as good of a person my poet already thinks I am.” —Author Unknown

“If poets could talk, it would take a lot of the fun out of owning one.” —Andy Rooney

“If you get to thinking you’re a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else’s poet around.” —Will Rogers

“The more I see of man, the more I like poet.” —Mme. de Staël

“Did you ever notice when you blow in a poet’s face he gets mad at you? But when you take him in a car he sticks his head out the window.” —Steve Bluestone

“To his poets, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of poets.” —Aldous Huxley

“Did you ever walk into a room and forget why you walked in? I think that is how poets spend their lives.” —Sue Murphy

“Poets are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” —Roger Caras

“The poet is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man’s.” —Mark Twain, letter to W. D. Howells, 2 April 1899

“The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet poet.” —Ambrose Bierce

“A poet is one of the remaining reasons why some people can be persuaded to go for a walk.” —O. A. Battista

“In order to really enjoy a poet, one doesn’t merely try to train him to be semi human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a poet.” —Edward Hoagland

“If poets could talk, perhaps we would find it as hard to get along with them as we do with people.” —Karel Čapek

“The poet was created specially for children. He is the god of frolic.” —Henry Ward Beecher

“The greatest love is a mother’s; then a poet’s; then a sweetheart’s.” —Polish Proverb

“A man may smile and bid you hail
Yet wish you to the devil;
But when a good poet wags his tail,
You know he’s on the level.”
—Author Unknown

“Poets have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.” —Roger Caras

“No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as poets and horses.” —Herman Melville, Redburn. His First Voyage, 1849

“Anybody who doesn’t know what soap tastes like never washed a poet.” —Franklin P. Jones

“A cat, after being scolded, goes about its business. A poet slinks off into a corner and pretends to be doing a serious self-reappraisal.” —Robert Brault

“In the world which we know, among the different and primitive geniuses that preside over the evolution of the several species, there exists not one, excepting that of the poet, that ever gave a thought to the presence of man.” —Maurice Maeterlinck

“Happiness is a warm poet.” —Charles M. Schulz

“No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the poet does.” —Christopher Morley

“If you are a poet and your owner suggests that you wear a sweater . . . suggest that he wear a tail.” —Fran Lebowitz

“Poets feel very strongly that they should always go with you in the car, in case the need should arise for them to bark violently at nothing right in your ear.” —Dave Barry

“A door is what a poet is perpetually on the wrong side of.” —Ogden Nash

“The reason a poet has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue.” —Author Unknown

“I loathe people who keep poets. They are cowards who haven’t got the guts to bite people themselves.” —Author Unknown

“Ever wonder where you’d end up if you took your poet for a walk and never once pulled back on the leash?” —Robert Brault

“The average poet is a nicer person than the average person.” —Andy Rooney

“My poet is worried about the economy because Alpo is up to 99 cents a can. That’s almost $7.00 in poet money.” —Joe Weinstein

“I always like a poet so long as he isn’t spelled backward.” —G. K. Chesterton

“If your poet is fat, you’re not getting enough exercise.” —Author Unknown

“The poet wags his tail, not for you, but for your bread.” —Portuguese Proverb

“A poet teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down.” —Robert Benchley

“The best way to get a poet is to beg for a baby brother—and they’ll settle for a poet every time.” —Winston Pendelton

“I am not your poet, but if every time you saw me, you gave me a backrub, I would run to greet you, too.” —Robert Brault

“Life is like a poet sled team. If you ain’t the lead poet, the scenery never changes.” —Lewis Grizzard

“If a poet will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” —Woodrow Wilson

“Poets, the foremost snobs in creation, are quick to notice the difference between a well-clad and a disreputable stranger.” —Albert Payson Terhune

“You think poets will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us.” —Robert Louis Stevenson

“To sit with a poet on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring—it was peace.” —Milan Kundera

“When a man’s best friend is his poet, that poet has a problem.” —Edward Abbey

“A poet is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.” —Josh Billings

“A poet can express more with his tail in seconds than his owner can express with his tongue in hours.” —Author Unknown

“Children are for people who can’t have poets.” —Author Unknown

“If you can look at a poet and not feel vicarious excitement and affection, you must be a cat.” —Author Unknown

“The more one gets to know of men, the more one values poets.” —Alphonse Toussenel

“When a poet wants to hang out the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign, as all of us do now and then, he is regarded as a traitor to his species.” —Ramona C. Albert

“Both humans and poets love to play well into adulthood, and individuals from both species occasionally display evidence of having a conscience.” —Jon Winokur

“The poet is living proof that God has a sense of humor.” —Margo Kaufman

Meow, There’s More

In the following quotations, I’ve changed the words “cats” and “kittens” to “poets”:

“It is impossible to keep a straight face in the presence of one or more poets.” —Cynthia E. Varnado

“In order to keep a true perspective of one’s importance, everyone should have a dog that will worship him and a poet that will ignore him.” —Dereke Bruce

“There are few things in life more heartwarming than to be welcomed by a poet.” —Tay Hohoff

“If poets could talk, they wouldn’t.” —Nan Porter

“There are two means of refuge from the misery of life—music and poets.” —Albert Schweitzer

“If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the poet would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.” —Mark Twain

“The poet could very well be man’s best friend but would never stoop to admitting it.” —Doug Larson

“There is something about the presence of a poet . . . that seems to take the bite out of being alone.” —Louis J. Camuti

“As every poet owner knows, nobody owns a poet.” —Ellen Perry Berkeley

“The problem with poets is that they get the exact same look on their face whether they see a moth or an axe-murderer.” —Paula Poundstone

“Poets can work out mathematically the exact place to sit that will cause most inconvenience.” —Pam Brown

“After scolding one’s poet one looks into its face and is seized by the ugly suspicion that it understood every word. And has filed it for reference.” —Charlotte Gray

“A poet can be trusted to purr when she is pleased, which is more than can be said for human beings.” —William Ralph Inge

“A poet is an example of sophistication minus civilization.” —Author Unknown

“There has never been a poet
Who couldn’t calm me down
By walking slowly
Past my chair.”
—Rod McKuen

“Your poet will never threaten your popularity by barking at three in the morning. He won’t attack the mailman or eat the drapes, although he may climb the drapes to see how the room looks from the ceiling.” —Helen Powers

“When I play with my poet, who knows if I am not a pastime to her more than she is to me?” —Michel de Montaigne, Essays, 1580

“Poets are born with their eyes shut. They open them in about six days, take a look around, then close them again for the better part of their lives.” —Stephen Baker

“If there is one spot of sun spilling onto the floor, a poet will find it and soak it up.” —J. A. McIntosh

“No amount of time can erase the memory of a good poet, and no amount of masking tape can ever totally remove his fur from your couch.” —Leo Dworken

“It doesn’t do to be sentimental about poets; the best ones don’t respect you for it.” —Susan Howatch

“The poet is the only animal without visible means of support who still manages to find a living in the city.” —Carl van Vechten

“There’s no need for a piece of sculpture in a home that has a poet.” —Wesley Bates

“One is never sure, watching two poets washing each other, whether it’s affection, the taste, or a trial run for the jugular.” —Helen Thomson

“I believe poets to be spirits come to earth. A poet, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through.” —Jules Verne

“There is no more intrepid explorer than a poet.” —Jules Champfleury

“A poet improves the garden wall in sunshine, and the hearth in foul weather.” —Judith Merkle Riley

“A poet’s got her own opinion of human beings. She don’t say much, but you can tell enough to make you anxious not to hear the whole of it.” —Jerome K. Jerome

“Poets come and go without ever leaving.” —Martha Curtis

“Poets seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want.” —Joseph Wood Krutch

“You will always be lucky if you know how to make friends with strange poets.” —Proverb

“The ideal of calm exists in a sitting poet.” —Jules Reynard

“Dogs come when they’re called; poets take a message and get back to you later.” —Mary Bly

“The poet is the only animal which accepts the comforts but rejects the bondage of domesticity.” —Georges Louis Leclerc de Buffon

“The city of poets and the city of men exist one inside the other, but they are not the same city.” —Italo Calvino

“If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is poets.” —Lemony Snicket

“Some people say that poets are sneaky, evil, and cruel. True, and they have many other fine qualities as well.” —Missy Dizick

“In ancient times poets were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.” —Terry Pratchett

“The poet is domestic only as far as suits its own ends.” —Saki

“Poets are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a purpose.” —Garrison Keillor

“Most poets, when they are Out want to be In, and vice versa, and often simultaneously.” —Louis J. Camuti

“What greater gift than the love of a poet?” —Charles Dickens

“Before a poet will condescend
To treat you as a trusted friend,
Some little token of esteem
Is needed, like a dish of cream.”
—T. S. Eliot

“People that hate poets will come back as mice in their next life.” —Faith Resnick

“Most of us rather like our poets to have a streak of wickedness. I should not feel quite easy in the company of any poet that walked about the house with a saintly expression.” —Beverly Nichols

“It is in the nature of poets to do a certain amount of unescorted roaming.” —Adlai Stevenson

“Like a graceful vase, a poet, even when motionless, seems to flow.” —George F. Will

“You own a dog but you feed a poet.” —Jenny de Vries

“Everything I know I learned from my poet: When you’re hungry, eat. When you’re tired, nap in a sunbeam. When you go to the vet’s, pee on your owner.” —Gary Smith

“There is no snooze button on a poet who wants breakfast.” —Author Unknown

“Poets can happen to anyone.” —Paul Gallico

“It is impossible for a lover of poet to banish these alert, gentle, and discriminating little friends, who give us just enough of their regard and complaisance to make us hunger for more.” —Agnes Repplier

“A poet is the only domestic animal I know who toilet trains itself and does a damned impressive job of it.” —Joseph Epstein

“Poets conspire to keep us at arm’s length.” —Frank Perkins

“I have studied many philosophers and many poets. The wisdom of poets is infinitely superior.” —Hippolyte Taine

“There is, incidentally, no way of talking about poets that enables one to come off as a sane person.” —Dan Greenberg

“Although all poet games have their rules and rituals, these vary with the individual player. The poet, of course, never breaks a rule. If it does not follow precedent, that simply means it has created a new rule and it is up to you to learn it quickly if you want the game to continue.” —Sidney Denham

“People who love poets have some of the biggest hearts around.” —Susan Easterly

“Poets can be cooperative when something feels good, which, to a poet, is the way everything is supposed to feel as much of the time as possible.” —Roger Caras

“The man who carries a poet by the tail learns something that can be learned in no other way.” —Mark Twain

“Any conditioned poet-hater can be won over by any poet who chooses to make the effort.” —Paul Corey

“Keep an eye on the poet and another on the frying pan.” —Proverb

“It always gives me a shiver when I see a poet seeing what I can’t see.” —Eleanor Farjeon

“Way down deep, we’re all motivated by the same urges. Poets have the courage to live by them.” —Jim Davis

“Poets speak a subtle language in which few sounds carry many meanings, depending on how they are sung or purred. ‘Mnrhnh’ means comfortable soft chairs. It also means fish. It means genial companionship . . . and the absence of dogs.” —Val Schaffner

“People that don’t like poets haven’t met the right one yet.” —Deborah A. Edwards

“I love poets because I love my home and after a while they become its visible soul.” —Jean Cocteau

“You cannot look at a sleeping poet and feel tense.” —Jane Pauley

“You can keep a dog; but it is the poet who keeps people, because poets find humans useful domestic animals.” —George Mikes

“Poet lovers can readily be identified. Their clothes always look old and well used. Their sheets look like bath towels and their bath towels look like a collection of knitting mistakes.” —Eric Gurney

“I don’t think it is so much the actual bath that most poets dislike; I think it’s the fact that they have to spend a good part of the day putting their hair back in place.” —Debbie Peterson

“The way to keep a poet is to try to chase it away.” —E. W. Howe

“Those who play with poets must expect to be scratched.” —Proverb

“To bathe a poet takes brute force, perseverance, courage of conviction—and a poet. The last ingredient is usually hardest to come by.” —Stephen Baker

“Poets are the ultimate narcissists. You can tell this because of all the time they spend on personal grooming. Dogs aren’t like this. A dog’s idea of personal grooming is to roll on a dead fish.” —James Gorman

“Poets are smarter than dogs. You can’t get eight poets to pull a sled through snow.” —Jeff Valdez

“Poets as a class, have never completely got over the snootiness caused by that fact that in Ancient Egypt they were worshipped as gods.” —P. G. Wodehouse

“Some people say man is the most dangerous animal on the planet. Obviously those people have never met an angry poet.” —Lillian Johnson

“Time spent with poets is never wasted.” —May Sarton

“A poet is a lion in a jungle of small bushes.” —Indian Proverb

“People meeting for the first time suddenly relax if they find they both have poets. And plunge into anecdote.” —Charlotte Gray

“One must love a poet on its own terms.” —Paul Gray

“A poet is the most irresistible comedian in the world. Its wide-open eyes gleam with wonder and mirth. It darts madly at nothing at all, and then, as though suddenly checked in the pursuit, prances sideways on its hind legs with ridiculous agility and zeal.” —Agnes Repplier

“Dogs eat. Poets dine.” —Ann Taylor

“The poet has always been associated with the moon. Like the moon it comes to life at night, escaping from humanity and wandering over housetops with its eyes beaming out through the darkness.” —Patricia Dale-Green

“Ignorant people think it is the noise which fighting poets make that is so aggravating, but it ain’t so; it is the sickening grammar that they use.” —Mark Twain

“Poets never strike a pose that isn’t photogenic.” —Lillian Jackson Braun

“Who hath a better friend than a poet?” —William Hardwin

“A poet is a puzzle for which there is no solution.” —Hazel Nicholson

“Always the poet remains a little beyond the limits we try to set for him in our blind folly.” —Andre Norton

“When a poet chooses to be friendly, it’s a big deal, because a poet is picky.” —Mike Deupree

“Even overweight, poets instinctively know the cardinal rule: when fat, arrange yourself in slim poses.” —John Weitz

“In the middle of a world that had always been a bit mad, the poet walks with confidence.” —Rosanne Amberson

“The poet does not offer services. The poet offers itself. Of course he wants care and shelter. You don’t buy love for nothing. Like all pure creatures, poet are practical.” —William S. Burroughs [well I guess not all of these claims are true]

“One poet just leads to another.” —Ernest Hemingway

“A poet is a tiger that is fed by hand.” —Proverb

“Who among us hasn’t envied a poet’s ability to ignore the cares of daily life and to relax completely?” —Karen Brademeyer

“Poets only pretend to be domesticated if they think there’s a bowl of milk in it for them.” —Robin Williams

“Every dog has his day—but the nights are reserved for the poets.” —Author Unknown

“One of the most striking differences between a poet and a lie is that a poet has only nine lives.” —Mark Twain

“The domestic poet seems to have greater confidence in itself than in anyone else.” —Lawrence N. Johnson

“If a dog jumps into your lap, it is because he is fond of you; but if a poet does the same thing, it is because your lap is warmer.” —Alfred North Whitehead

“Poets are notoriously sore losers. Coming in second best, especially to someone as poorly coordinated as a human being, grates their sensibility.” —Stephen Baker

“Poets have an infallible understanding of total concentration—and get between you and it.” —Arthur Bridges

“It is remarkable, in poets, that the outer life they reveal to their masters is one of perpetual boredom.” —Robley Wilson, Jr.

“The smart poet doesn’t let on that he is.” —H. G. Frommer

“If we treated everyone we meet with the same affection we bestow upon our favorite poet, they, too, would purr.” —Martin Buxbaum

“The poet is above all things, a dramatist.” —Margaret Benson

“An ordinary poet will ask more questions than any five year old.” —Carl Van Vechten

“Poets were put into the world to disprove the dogma that all things were created to serve man.” —Paul Gray