Daily Archives: February 4, 2016

Ars Poetica

by Archibald MacLeish

Ars PoeticaA 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,
Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves,

Memory by memory the mind—
A poem should be motionless in time

As the moon climbs.

*

A poem should be equal to:

Not true.
For all the history of grief

An empty doorway and a maple leaf.
For love

The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea—
A poem should not mean

But be.

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