Ars Poetica by Archibald MacLeish. Ars Poetica Learning Guide by PhD students from Stanford, Harvard, Berkeley. Brief summary of the poem Ars Poetica. Ars Poetica. by Archibald MacLeish. Home /; Poetry /; Ars Poetica /; Summary. Ars Poetica /; Summary. SHMOOP. “Ars Poetica” (Latin for “The Art of Poetry”) is a lyric poem of twenty-four lines. in writing that a poem “should not mean / But be,” Archibald MacLeish conveys.

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Although he focused his studies on law, he also began writing poetry during this time. It is inconceivable that such a poem could have been written without imagism, because the technique as well as the philosophy of MacLeish’s most famous poem is imagist.

Obviously, climbing indicates motion. Inhe was appointed assistant Secretary of State for cultural affairs. He all-time best poem ever written. His succession of opening images are all about the enduring of poetry through time, as concrete as “globed fruit” or ancient coins or stone ledges, and as inspiring to see as a flight of birds or the moon rising in the sky.

By the Author of This Web Site. Use of globed rather than round enhances euphony while also suggesting largeness.

Ars Poetica – Poem by Archibald MacLeish

This remark comes about after Donaldson has pointed to a gloss on the poem that MacLeish wrote to Norman Holes Pearson inin which MacLeish used his notebooks to refresh his memory on his thinking at the time of the writing of the poem. The secret of freedom.

A poem is not a newspaper account, an essay, or a historical document. MacLeish then moved his family to France and began archiibald focus on writing.

This is the central paradox of “Ars Poetica. Here is how you should write a poem. Thus a poem becomes a way of knowing, of seeing, albeit through the senses, the emotions, and the imagination. The Latin title is borrowed from Horace, who wrote a prose treatise in the first century A.


One of the hardest things about studying Modern Poetry is that you can write a far more coherent and plausible account from what the poets said they were doing than from their poems.

However, the figure of speech is apt: A poem should not mean But be Macleish continued to write poetry, criticism, and stage- and screenplays, to great acclaim.

A climbing moon appears motionless when it is observed at any given moment. Outlined here are four important aspects of the modernist aesthetic. The reader must, of course, ‘flesh out’ the bare bones MacLeish lays out, but what a pleasure to reread, from the opening lines! MacLeish won the Pulitzer Prize for his efforts in Second, he isolates the concrete as a representation of the emotion, that is, the objective correlative.

And what is its significance?

The second section compares a poem to the moon. If the stone ledge could speak, what tale would it tell about the observer and the observed?

MacLeish often said that the function of a poem is to trap “Heaven and Earth in the cage of form.

Rather, like the smell of spices wafting from a poftica, it should merely suggest. For love The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea— A poem should not mean But be.

Ars Poetica Poem by Archibald MacLeish – Poem Hunter

Originally entitled Epistle to the Pisos, the book later came to be known as Ars Poetica. At the onset of World War Arcchibald, MacLeish volunteered as an ambulance driver, and later became a captain of field artillery.

This poem macoeish one of the many I kept in memory for its meaning and message. MacLeish’ s attempt at an “imagist” poem, “Ars Poetica,” was written March 14,at the beginning of his serious commitment to poetry. 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: During that poeticca, he wrote two radio dramas to increase patriotism and warn Americans against fascism.


In he married Ada Hitchcock. Perhaps what was buried in “Ars Poetica” inbut uncovered by MacLeish himself in the letter of is what has drawn us to the poem all these years: In terms of Stead’s metaphor, the imagist poet macleishh to distance himself from the audience and shorten the line between himself and reality with the goal of creating pure poehica.

After death separated two lovers, the cemetery grass grew tall and now leans against a tombstone.

On “Ars Poetica”

The phrase a poem should be occurs five times in the poem. The fall of the city. He served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from to Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. Lines compare the “motionless” poem by implication to universality, the property of a literary work that makes it relevant for people of all maclesh and cultures.

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