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Archibald MacLeish - Ars Poetica

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

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: 1536 times | Comments and analysis of Ars Poetica by Archibald MacLeish Comments (79)

Ars Poetica - Comments and Information

Poet: Archibald MacLeish
Poem: Ars Poetica

Comment 79 of 79, added on March 4th, 2017 at 10:50 AM.

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Comment 78 of 79, added on March 4th, 2017 at 7:56 AM.

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Comment 77 of 79, added on February 1st, 2017 at 10:31 AM.

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