I was wondering if there is a simpler way to say, "a quote from a poem." I thought about the word excerpt, but that seems to apply to a bigger chunk of writing. Whereas in this instance, I am referring to five short lines of text in a poem.

Any insight would be helpful.

2 Answers 2


A quotation:

  • a phrase or passage from a book, poem, play, etc, remembered and spoken, esp to illustrate succinctly or support a point or an argument.


A quote can also be used as a synonym of quotation, but it is less common.

Ngram: a quotation from a poem vs a quote from a poem

Usage Note:

  • People have been using the noun quote as a truncation of quotation for over one hundred years, and its use in less formal contexts is widespread today. Language critics have objected to this usage, however, as unduly journalistic or breezy, but the word appears to have gained acceptance.


  • Thank you. I wasn't sure if "quotation" was directed more towards short phrases in texts such as books and articles over poetry. Your response was very helpful. Nov 1, 2015 at 19:57

For a poem or a novel, you may replace "quotation" (that perfectly fits) by excerpt.

Definition: a passage or quotation taken or selected from a book, document, film, or the like

Example: I've read only excerpts of Moby-Dick, never the whole book.

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