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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There he [MacLeish] found Fenellosa’s observation that “metaphor was the very essence of poetry,” but not as exegesis or demonstration. This difficulty is compounded when the poems keep talking about themselves and their intentions for poetry as a whole. 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.

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

Ars Poetica – Poem by Archibald MacLeish

If a poem has universality, it can move from one moment to the next, or from one age to another, while its relevance remains fixed “motionless,” line 9. Explain what makes the lyrics good. The feet are mostly iambic, and the meter varies. Although he focused his studies on law, he also began writing poetry during this time. It’s one of my favourite ones that embodies the free spirit of poetry and how this freedom is ruined by scrupulous examination of its’ verses.

It consists of a sequence of images that are discrete but that at the same time express and exemplify the imagist principles and practice of poetry. And what is its significance? Inhe was appointed assistant Secretary of State for cultural affairs. In he married Ada Hitchcock.


It is not an imagist poem, he says, because, first, it is almost impossible to write one, and second, it is too didactic; there is too strong a message.

The secret of freedom. The second section compares a poem to the moon.

Ars Poetica by Archibald MacLeish – Poems | Academy of American Poets

Perhaps what was bg in “Ars Poetica” inbut uncovered by MacLeish himself in the letter of is what has drawn us to the poem all these years: MacLeish divides the poem into three eight-line sections, each explaining what a poem “should be. Ars Poetica Archibald MacLeish- Scott Donaldson writes in his biography of MacLeish that “in severely compressed form,” “Ars Poetica” conveys “some of the modernist aesthetic” Still I Rise Maya Angelou.

The fall of the city. Select a song with lyrics that you believe are good enough to stand alone as a worthy poem.

Academy of American Poets Educator Newsletter. 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 macliesh in the sky. Second, he isolates the concrete as a representation of the emotion, that is, the objective correlative. A poem should be wordless Like a flight of birds. The statements are not only concrete but paradoxical, for it is impossible that poems should be “mute” or “Dumb” or “Silent” or “wordless,” which would mean that there was no communication in them at all; rather, what MacLeish is stating in his succession of paradoxical images is that the substance of poetry may be physical but the meaning of poetry is metaphysical: Archibald MacLeish, who like Cummings arrived on the poetic scene after the first imagists had created the new movement, nevertheless can be credited with the poetic summing up of imagism in his “Ars Poetica” inwritten well after the imagist decade had ended.


A poem should be equal to: Poeticq 12 compares night to macleih object that can snare or capture. To this insightful remark I would add another: If the stone ledge could speak, what tale would it tell about the observer archlbald the observed?

Should the language of good poetry be clear and direct, requiring no interpretation, ,acleish remain mostly ambiguous and merely suggestive of a particular meaning? To feel creep up the curving east The earthy chill of dusk and slow Upon those under lands the vast And ever climbing shadow grow And strange at Ecbatan the trees Take leaf by. And fourth, he understands the poem as a creation that is an end to itself.

And here face down beneath the sun And here upon earth’s noonward height To feel the always coming on The always rising of the night: MacLeish often said that the function of a poem is to trap “Heaven and Earth in the cage of form.

Ars Poetica (MacLeish): a Study Guide

MacLeish then moved his family to France and began to focus on writing. Thus poeetica poem becomes a way of knowing, of seeing, albeit through the senses, the emotions, and the imagination.

Dramatists Play Service, J. But now the mother is gone, and the gloom of autumn suggested by the fallen leaf has replaced the bright cheer of summer.

Following are examples of figures of speech in the poem: Leaving, as the moon releases Twig by twig nacleish night-entangled trees. Lines use like or as to compare a poem to a globed fruitold medallionsthe stone of casement ledgesand a flight of birds.