Percy Bysshe Shelley
"Poets are the hierophants of an unapprehended inspiration; the mirrors of the gigantic shadows which futurity casts upon the present; the words which express what they understand not; the trumpets which sing to battle, and feel not what they inspire; the influence which is moved not, but moves.
Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world."
W. H. Auden:
"Catharsis is properly effected, not by works of art, but by religious rites. It is also effected, usually improperly, by bullfights, professional football matches, bad movies, military bands and monster rallies at which ten thousand girl guides form themselves into a model of a national flag.
'The unacknowledged legislators of the world’ describes the secret police, not the poets."