"The poet may be used as a barometer, but let us not forget that he is also part of the weather."
"All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling."Lionel Trilling on Oscar Wilde
"A poet can survive everything but a misprint."Lionel Trilling on Oscar Wilde
"Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things."Lionel Trilling on T. S. Eliot
"Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words."Lionel Trilling on Robert Frost
"A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness."Lionel Trilling on Robert Frost
"Immature artists imitate. Mature artists steal."
"We who are liberal and progressive know that the poor are our equals in every sense except that of being equal to us."
"We are all ill: but even a universal sickness implies an idea of health."
"Probably it is impossible for humor to be ever a revolutionary weapon. Candide can do little more than generate irony."
"There is no connection between the political ideas of our educated class and the deep places of the imagination."