“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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Ars Poetica

For the rest of his life, throughout the great changes that affected America—isolationism, World War IIthe Communist scare, and the Civil Rights movement—MacLeish continued to inspect society in poems, essays, and that most social artistic form— dramas. The war destroyed a lot more than buildings and families; it destroyed the old way of seeing things, as wars always do.

And so at the beginning 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. Both, however, have the ability to evoke a highly personal resonance of loss. From toMacLeish worked as an editor at Fortune magazine. Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.

If the stone ledge could speak, what tale would archibalv tell about the observer and the observed? 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.

An American Life, Boston: Upon returning to the United Stateshe earned his law degree and successfully practiced law for four years. Atchibald 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. Most of the European economies had suffered from the aftermath of four years of fighting and the destruction of their manufacturing abilities.


Outlined here are four important aspects of the modernist aesthetic. How could we admire or appreciate a phone line if we did not know whether it was doing its job well? While the two lines in couplets usually ar in length and meter, MacLeish very specifically varies the lengths of the lines here: Do you agree with MacLeish’s views on what a poem should be?

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. During that period, he wrote two radio dramas to increase patriotism and warn Americans against fascism. MacLeish’s modern “Art of Poetry” is a fulfillment of the three rules of imagism be direct, be brief, and use free verseof Pound’s definition of the image, and at the same time of Horace’s Latin statement on poetry, that good poetry is one proof that there is a permanence in human experience that does not change but endures through time.

As an artistic stance, though, the immediacy called for in this poem is too limited to continue throughout a writing career.

Arss other words, a poem should not concern itself with the abstract, unknowable concept of truth. To secure their own self-respect, young people could claim that knowledge is overrated by older people to justify their waning physical prowess. A poem should be equal to: The world that we experience is what art represents with paint on a canvas or music or words. 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.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve maccleish time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia. Financially comfortable, America in the s turned its attention toward less serious concerns. MacLeish’ s attempt at an “imagist” poem, “Ars Poetica,” was written March 14,at the beginning of his serious commitment to poetry.

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

An American Life, Scott Donaldson detailed how this successful attorney decided to leave behind a lucrative law career to join American expatriates on the Left Bank in Paris in the early s. He went to private school, prep school, and then Yale Universitywhere he was active in writing and had work published in The Yale Review.


To this insightful remark I would add another: MacLeish often said that the function of a poem is to trap “Heaven and Earth in the cage of form.

Every outbreak of violence shatters faith and leaves affected populations open to the question of mzcleish or not we can handle things a little better in the future. S ilent as the s leeve-worn s tone. World War I elevated the United States to the status of an economic superpower. Most obvious is the emphasis given to anything that is said twice.

Perrett, Geoffrey, America In the Twenties: The final paradox, that “A poem should not mean but be,” is pure impossibility, but the poet insists it is nevertheless valid, because beyond the meaning of any poem is the being that it points to, which is ageless and permanent, a divine essence or spiritual reality behind all appearances.

Ars Poetica Archibald MacLeish- The Latin title is borrowed from Horace, who wrote a prose treatise in the first century A. Macleish continued to write poetry, criticism, and stage- and screenplays, to great acclaim.

On “Ars Poetica”

At the onset of World War I, MacLeish volunteered as an ambulance driver, and later became a captain of field artillery. After death separated two lovers, the cemetery grass grew tall and now leans against a tombstone. Academy of American Poets Educator Newsletter. Retrieved December 31, from Encyclopedia.

I love this poem!

Ars Poetica – Poem by Archibald MacLeish

There are quite a few existing systems of thought, including Zen and Existentialism, that shift the poeitca of life away from the stored-up knowledge of humankind and the arts to the experience of the here and now.

A poem should be. These lines offer the same type of evasive images that were offered for grief in the preceding couplet.