Ars Poetica


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    Ars Poetica

    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.


    Author: Archibald MacLeish

    ====================
    In my opinion, this is the most beautiful free-verse poem ever written. One of the things that makes it beautiful is that the lines can be rearranged into metered verse, and the rhythm from the metered language contributes to the beauty.

    Last edited by Caleb Murdock; June 11th, 2018 at 06:46 AM. Reason: fix a typo

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