ARCHIBALD MACLEISH ARS POETICA PDF

Reprinted with the permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. I praise the fall: it is the human season. Now No

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The poem begins with the speaker declaring that a poem should be "mute" and silent," moving the reader with its impressions without trying to embody meaning. Such a natural poetic impression is compared to the effortlessness and organic movement of "the flight of birds. The first four stanzas, evoke two main ideas. One could also argue that as a modernist manifesto, MacLeish believes the poem should literally become an object.

Ironically, by setting up this poem as a manifesto, MacLeish is doing the opposite of what he is calling for. The next stanza is composed of couplets with an extended moon simile, which expresses the paradox of what a good poem does. One could even view this concept in a psychoanalytic sense, and argue that MacLeish hopes the poem will probe both conscious impressions as well as the dark, unconscious realm. In the final section, MacLeish raises another set of criteria for the art of poetics, one being that he feels a poem should be "equal to" something, rather than true about a thing.

He likely means that a poem should not be operating in any paradigm or within any lexicon that deals with right or wrong, truths or lies. Rather than being true or false—which implies that it is about something else—it should be "equal to", in other words, exist on the same plane as, other things. For example, rather than describing a globed fruit, it should be like one.

Obviously grief and love leave behind far more than the images in the poem, so perhaps MacLeish is pointing to the difficulty of accomplishing the poetic task of economy and restraint. In this formulation, the poem may act upon the reader, teaching him something, but not through verbal explanation or careful dissections of meaning. It is in this last stanza that MacLeish has put forth the crucial exploration of Modernism: the complex relationship between the conditions of existence form , experience emotion and sensation , and meaning.

By the end of the poem, the reader is left with a final paradox: the poem has taught the reader a lesson and transmitted a meaning, but the meaning is precisely that poetry should "not mean" but simply "be. Can you please edit my membership to the annual.

What is one theme of Ars Poetica? What is ars poetica? While on its surface, "Ars Poetica" is quite simple, there are many complexities in the poem that the reader will have to grapple with to understand its essence. The title of the poem is borrowed from Horace a lyric poet of ancient Rome , and it Ars Poetica study guide contains a biography of Archibald MacLeish, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

Remember me. Forgot your password? Buy Study Guide. Please refer to the contact us link on the home page and ask your question. Major themes addressed in Ars Poetica include art and its interpretation and language. Study Guide for Ars Poetica Ars Poetica study guide contains a biography of Archibald MacLeish, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

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Ars Poetica

The poem begins with the speaker declaring that a poem should be "mute" and silent," moving the reader with its impressions without trying to embody meaning. Such a natural poetic impression is compared to the effortlessness and organic movement of "the flight of birds. The first four stanzas, evoke two main ideas. One could also argue that as a modernist manifesto, MacLeish believes the poem should literally become an object. Ironically, by setting up this poem as a manifesto, MacLeish is doing the opposite of what he is calling for.

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Ars Poetica Summary and Analysis of Ars Poetica

It can be considered a lyric poem , consisting of 24 lines. It is often referred to as a pillar of New Criticism poetry, and known for being a part of the imagism movement. Born in Illinois in , MacLeish studied law primarily, in his youth- attending such lauded institutions as Yale and Harvard Law. However, before he could begin practicing, America became embroiled in the conflicts of the first world war. After returning home from service in the war, MacLeish worked briefly as a lawyer in Boston , but resented the time it took from the poetry he was beginning to create, and decided to switch focus to solely poetry, moving his family to France to pursue the matter.

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