Archibald Macleish Essay Research Paper Still he

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Archibald Macleish Essay, Research Paper Still he stands Watching the vortex widen and involve in swirling dissolution the whole earth and circle through the skies till swaying time collapses, crumpling into dark the skies -from the poem Einstein INTRODUCTION Archibald MacLeish was always a loner. Although he married he was always wondering about man s relationship to the world. He wondered why people could not see that they were wasting the little time we have on this earth. He tried to show in his poems the reality of the emotions that words cannot describe. (Falk 27) Often he would include in his poems laws of nature and physics which gave him a unique style. (Falk 24) BIOGRAPHY Archibald MacLeish was born in Glencoe, Illinois to an average middle class family. His father,

Andrew MacLeish, was a businessman. His mother, Martha Hillard MacLeish, was a homemaker. His parents soon realized they had a very gifted son so they sent him to the Hotchkiss School. This school catered to his many different interests. Of all the things MacLeish excelled at he was the best at writing. Archibald graduated at the top of his class and was accepted to Yale University. While at Yale MacLeish studied law, but continued his writing and in his off time the university published a book of his works. After Yale, MacLeish decided to focus on his poetry and his new wife and children. During this time off he wrote his first collaboration called Tower of Ivory Then in 1917 he went to France to serve in the war as a private. He rose from private to captain in just one year of

service. Upon his return to the United States MacLeish began teaching at Harvard. While there he taught International Law and Constitutional Law which improved his grammar skills greatly. MacLeish was accepted by the Massachusetts bar in 1920. He began practicing law in Boston and continued to do that for three years. MacLeish then returned to France to focus on his writing. While in France MacLeish spent much time outdoors so he wrote about what he saw and what he thought of it. During his time in France, MacLeish wrote the poems The Happy Marriage , The Pot of Earth , and the controversial poem about religion called Nobodaddy. (Moritz 143) MacLeish returned to America in 1928 and that same year he wrote The Hamlet of A. MacLeish. This book was a tribute to Shakespeare , but his

work reflected that of his fellow poet ,T.S. Eliot. After writing that collaboration MacLeish took a two month trip to Mexico where he followed the trail of Cortes. With that experience MacLeish wrote the epic poem Conquistador for which he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for. He was also awarded the John Reed Memorial Award for poetry by Poetry magazine. (Falk 67) MacLeish then made a career move into a different area of literature when he became the editor for Fortune magazine(Falk 91). At this time in his life MacLeish felt that society was heading in the wrong direction because of how much people depended on each other. He saw this as a blow to people s identity and their independence. MacLeish was a believer , like Thoreau, in self-government. He saw government as only a

temporary necessity because of unruly people. MacLeish thought that a perfect society would have no need for a ruling body. In protest of this trend MacLeish became severely independent. He showed his fear for society in the poem Panic , which was written at the height if the stock market crisis(Magill 229). In 1939 Archibald MacLeish became the librarian of Congress. This new field of work put an enormous amount of stress on him. More stress was on MacLeish because so many thought of him as a radical because of his views on government. People thought MacLeish was not responsible enough to hold an important job. In response to this he wrote the book The Irresponsibles which said ,in a sense, that people should mind their own business and worry about their own lives. MacLeish did