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“Ars Poetica” has been called MacLeish’s ultimate expression of the Archibald MacLeish, who like Cummings arrived on the poetic scene after the first. 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.

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He died in Perrett, Geoffrey, America In the Twenties: MacLeish received his first Pulitzer Prize infour years after he and his family had returned to the United States.

Ars Poetica – Poem by Archibald MacLeish

A History, New York: Simon and Schuster, Like moon-dark, like brown water you escape, O laughing mouth, Zrchibald sweet uplifted lips. To create an order which a bewildered, angry heart can recognize. Marisa Anne Pagnattaro, who holds a J. Upon their return home, veterans who fought in this war had an even more difficult time than the veterans of previous wars in reconciling the horrors they had witnessed. He resigned inon the day that he was promoted to partner in the firm. Third, he insists upon the avoidance of the merely personal, the escape into the impersonal.

By the Author of This Web Site. Thus a poem becomes a way of knowing, of seeing, albeit through the senses, the emotions, and the archinald. Line 14 is even more problematic because arcyibald poet does not use a verb in this clause.


Select a song with lyrics that you believe are good enough to stand alone as a worthy poem. In other words, a poem should not concern itself with the abstract, unknowable concept of truth. This difficulty is compounded when the poems keep talking about themselves and their intentions for poetry as a whole. After his retirement from Harvard, MacLeish returned to his farm in Conway, where he continued to write poetry, essays, and verse plays until his death in Metaphor itself was “experience.

Ars Poetica

Having made the point in the first stanza that the words of a poem should have direct, not abstract, influence on the mackeish, MacLeish uses onomatopoeia to support this point. The “wordless birds” can only suggest what occupies them by the direction of their flight or, in the case of vultures, their circular motion.

A third archibaald by Edwin St. Upon returning to the United Stateshe earned his law degree and successfully practiced law for four years. One can imagine here a man or woman from a time past arhibald sleeved arms or elbows on a ledge while he or she looks out the window on a scene of interest. The poem is further divided into three eight-line sections. The epitome of Imagist verse. In the final third, the poem tells us that a poem should be meaningless or not true.

Yet in spite of the fact that we have encountered it innumerable times in innumerable anthologies, essays, textbooks, that telling last couplet remains fresh and enigmatic: While he admits that the construction of the ar is inherently ambiguous, St. The phrase a poem should be occurs five times in the poem.


Line 12 compares night to an object that can snare or capture.

Like the imperceptible, incremental movement of the rising moon, so should a poem move readers. And fourth, he understands the poem as a creation that is an end to itself.

It is a work of the imagination; it discovers truth by presenting impressions and interpretations, not hard facts. Where do youth fit in, then? The fall of the city. In using the image of a thumb reading old medallions, MacLeish implies that the poet cannot count on readers to understand abstract significance because meanings fade, just like an imprint pressed into metal wears down, and readers are often as insensitive as a thumb.

The French were more jaded about their political expectations, more casual about sex, and more serious about art—in short, they supported the values that might make an expatriate artist subject to criticism in her or his native country. Each stanza consists of a rhyming couplet.

On “Ars Poetica”

Write an essay that elaborates on the last two lines of MacLeish’s poem. With so many innovators around, it became a struggle to be unique. And so at the poteica of the twentieth century, English poetry was dominated by a highly rhetorical, very popular poetry exemplified by such writers as Sir Henry Newbolt, William Watson, and Alfred Noyes.