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.
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Reprinted with the permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. I praise the fall: it is the human season. Now No To the others, it was like, I suppose, something else. In other words, we let everybody find her own figure of speech. Not that it—speech—lay thick on the The heart, the surgeon says, does not reveal the small rifts, the hairline cracks which split the hairline cracks they conceal cops and robbers in a stretch of skin flaunting star-scars with show of blood bone the ledges of what it holds tight in checkmate moves I like the lady horses best, how they make it all look easy, like running 40 miles per hour is as fun as taking a nap, or grass.
I like their lady horse swagger, after winning. Ears up, girls, ears up! Ars Poetica Twitter Facebook Print. After college, he enrolled at Harvard Law School, but he put his studies on hold to become first an ambulance driver and later a captain of artillery during World War I.
He graduated from Harvard in He received numerous fellowships, grants, honorary degrees, and awards. He won three Pulitzer Prizes, including one for his verse drama, J. See More By This Poet. The Heart Shows No Signs The heart, the surgeon says, does not reveal the small rifts, the hairline cracks which split the hairline cracks they conceal cops and robbers in a stretch of skin flaunting star-scars with show of blood bone the ledges of what it holds tight in checkmate moves How to Triumph Like a Girl I like the lady horses best, how they make it all look easy, like running 40 miles per hour is as fun as taking a nap, or grass.
Ars Poetica (Archibald MacLeish)
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,.
Ars Poetica Summary and Analysis of Ars Poetica
The poet has chosen to divide the poem up further by placing a delineating mark after every eight lines, or four couplets. One of the first elements of this piece that is important to understand is the title. Throughout this piece the poet will define what it is that makes a successful and meaningful poem. He will move through various attributes a poem can have and determine their relevance to truly great work. A reader should also take note of the fact that MacLeish has chosen to rhyme the couplets within the first section. The pattern changes in the second set of eight lines with the poet including two half or slant rhymes at the end.