Ars Poetica - Archibald MacLeish

Archibald MacLeish

The best known poem by Archibald MacLeish (1892–1982), published in 1926, took its title and subject from Horace's work. His poem "Ars Poetica" contains the line "A poem should not mean/but be", which was a classic statement of the modernist aesthetic. The original manuscript of the poem is in the collections of the Library of Congress.

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Famous quotes by archibald macleish:

    Poets ... are literal-minded men who will squeeze a word till it hurts.
    Archibald MacLeish (1892–1982)

    A poem should be palpable and mute
    As a globed fruit,
    Dumb
    As old medallions to the thumb,
    Archibald MacLeish (1892–1982)

    There with vast wings across the canceled skies,
    There in the sudden blackness the black pall
    Of nothing, nothing, nothing—nothing at all.
    Archibald MacLeish (1892–1982)

    And crossed the dark defile at last, and found
    At Roncevaux upon the darkening plain
    The dead against the dead and on the silent ground
    The silent slain—
    Archibald MacLeish (1892–1982)

    Nor now the long light on the sea—
    And here face downward in the sun
    To feel how swift how secretly
    The shadow of the night comes on . . .
    Archibald MacLeish (1892–1982)