Archibald Macleish Essay Research Paper Archibald MacLeish

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Archibald Macleish Essay, Research Paper Archibald MacLeish never truly set out to be a poet. At Yale, MacLeish was a very scholared student as well as an athlete. In his junior year, he was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Society where he began writing poetry and short stories. This is when MacLeish knew he had the abilities for poetry. He published his works in the Yale Literary Magazine, and he won the Yale University Prize for Poetry in 1915 (MacLeish 2). After graduation, MacLeish enrolled at Harvard Law School. According to MacLeish this is where his education truly began. While at Harvard, MacLeish went through intensive study of law. He was exposed to a lot more hard work and diversity while in law school. However, MacLeish would spend a short time at Harvard. Due to

WWI MacLeish temporarily suspended his studies and left to serve as an ambulance driver. MacLeish did not enjoy the role as an ambulance driver, so he soon transferred to active duty and became an artillery captain. While serving, his old English professors at Yale published his first volume of poetry (2). Still serving in the war MacLeish learned of his brother s death. This event inspired many of his poems (2). After the war he returned to Yale, not Harvard, to finish his law degree. He graduated class valedictorian. He taught institutional and constitutional law at Harvard for a year and then made a final decision concerning his future. In 1923 he decided to pursue a full-time career as a poet. MacLeish associated with many of the writers who were to revolutionize

twentieth-century-literature (2). People including Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, and Ezra Pound all greatly influenced MacLeish. MacLeish was a perfectionist. All of his pieces had to be perfect. MacLeish is one of his generation s most promising poets, (2). He received his first Pulitzer Prize in 1932. In 1939 MacLeish was appointed the position of the Librarian of the Congress, by President Franklin Roosevelt. He drafted the constitution for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (2). In 1945 MacLeish retired and became a professor at Harvard and taught creative writing and literature. He then received two more Pulitzer Prizes, a Tony Award, the Bollongen Prize for Poetry, as well as an Acadamy award. MacLeish continued to write his poetry on his

farm until his death in 1982. Ars Poetica is a very unique poem to literally interrupt. The choice of metaphors and symbolism used is a unique characteristic MacLeish carries through all of his poems. Ars Poetica translates to the art of poetry. In this poem MacLeish suggests his art of poetry and how a poem should be constructed. A poem should be palpable and mute As a globed fruit, This meaning a poem should be able to communicate with a reader mutely (nonverbally). Literally a poem cannot communicate nonverbally because it consists of words. Contradicting our normal expectations about the scope of its subject is what Ars Poetica is all about (3). Palpable in the first line means a poem should be actual or real. You should not have to spend countless hours figuring out what

this poem means. MacLeish uses mute to contradict the idea that a poem should be able to speak to its reader. A fruit is recognized globally, this is why MacLeish uses it. A poem should be able to be understood by everyone. Dumb As old medallions on the thumb, Onomatopoeia is the use of words to mimic their sound. Dumb and thumb do this. Silent as the Sleeve-worn stone 5 Of casement ledges where the moss has grown- This implies that someone, presumably the poet, has been looking in for a long time at a situation that has been there for an even longer time. MacLeish s suggestion that poems be silent is good advice to any outside observer (3). A poem should be wordless As the flight of birds A poem cannot be wordless. MacLeish touches this again. A poem does not have to concentrate