Three quotes by Paul Valéry about poets, poems, and poetry:

“A man is a poet if the difficulties inherent in his art provide him with ideas; he is not a poet if they deprive him of ideas.”

“To write regular verses destroys an infinite number of fine possibilities, but at the same time it suggests a multitude of distant and totally unexpected thoughts.”

“In poetry everything which must be said is almost impossible to say well.”

Usually, quotes like that (about poetry and what it means) are insufferable. In this specific case, they were quoted by Auden in A Certain World, which gives them a lot more credit.