Advice from The Writer’s Aims

In honor of Poem-A-Day Month, I decided instead of posting my poems here every day, I’ll post quotes about poetry or advice for poets from the ancients.

This week I’ll focus on Horace Ars Poetica, or “The Art of Poetry,” which is a poem written by Horace c. 19 BCE. It consists of 476 lines containing nearly thirty maxims for . . . poets.

Horace advises poets to read widely, to strive for precision, and to find the best criticism available. He councils that a poem demands unity, “to be secured by harmony and proportion, as well as a wise choice of subject and good diction.” (wiki)

The following advice is from On unity and harmony:

The Writer's Aim

Great Advice! What does this mean to you? How can a subject be too heavy for our shoulders? What can we bear or not bear to write about?

To read more about Horace visit


One thought on “Advice from The Writer’s Aims

  1. I love the idea of choosing a subject that matches our powers. Kinda makes me feel guilty for writing time-traveling vampires, though. Lately I’ve moved the WIP closer to historical fiction which requires a great deal of research. Would that qualify as matching my powers? Thanks for sharing the insight from Homer.

Speak to me of thoughts unspoken.

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