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Archibald MacLeish - Ars Poetica

A poem should be palpable and mute
As a globed fruit,

Dumb
As old medallions to the thumb,

Silent as the sleeve-worn stone
Of casement ledges where the moss has grown-- 

A poem should be wordless
As the flight of birds.

                 *

A poem should be motionless in time 
As the moon climbs,

Leaving, as the moon releases
Twig by twig the night-entangled trees,

Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves, 
Memory by memory the mind--

A poem should be motionless in time 
As the moon climbs.

                  *

A poem should be equal to:
Not true.

For all the history of grief
An empty doorway and a maple leaf.

For love
The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea--

A poem should not mean
But be.

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Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 561 times | Comments and analysis of Ars Poetica by Archibald MacLeish Comments (72)

Ars Poetica - Comments and Information

Poet: Archibald MacLeish
Poem: Ars Poetica

Comment 72 of 72, added on February 5th, 2015 at 3:26 PM.
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Comment 71 of 72, added on December 21st, 2014 at 3:47 PM.
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Comment 70 of 72, added on December 21st, 2014 at 3:19 AM.
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