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Read more poems by Archibald MacLeish: Archibald MacLeish Poems at Poetry X.

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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,

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.

Added: 24 Aug 2001 | Last Read: 23 Oct 2017 4:09 AM | Viewed: 22296 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/391/ | Viewed on 23 October 2017.
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