Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


The Art of Poetry [excerpt]

Gently make haste, of Labour not afraid;
A hundred times consider what you've said:
Polish, repolish, every Colour lay,
And sometimes add; but oft'ner take away.
'Tis not enough, when swarming Faults are writ,
That here and there are scattered Sparks of Wit;
Each Object must be fix'd in the due place,
And diff'ring parts have Corresponding Grace:
'Till, by a curious Art dispos'd, we find
One perfect whole, of all the pieces join'd.
Keep your subject close, in all you say;
Nor for a sounding Sentence ever stray.

Credit


From The Art of Poetry, by Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux. This poem is in the public domain.

Author


Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux

Date Published: 1674-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/art-poetry-excerpt