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Archibald MacLeish

(7 May 1892 – 20 April 1982 / Glencoe, Illinois)

Archibald MacLeish
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Archibald MacLeish was an American poet, writer, and the Librarian of Congress. He is associated with the Modernist school of poetry. He received three Pulitzer Prizes for his work.

Early Years

MacLeish was born in Glencoe, Illinois. His father, Scottish-born Andrew MacLeish, worked as a dry goods merchant. His mother, Martha (née Hillard), was a college professor and had served as president of Rockford College. He grew up on an estate bordering Lake Michigan. He attended the Hotchkiss School from 1907 to 1911 before entering Yale University, where he majored in English, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and was selected for the Skull and Bones society. He then ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''America is promises to
    Take!
    America is promises to
    Us
    To take them
    Brutally
    With love but
    Take them.''
    Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982), U.S. poet. "America Was Promises," (1940).
  • ''Poets ... are literal-minded men who will squeeze a word till it hurts.''
    Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982), U.S. poet. repr. As "Art and Law" in Riders on Earth (1978). "Apologia," Harvard Law Review (Cambridge, June 1972).
  • ''The business of the law is to make sense of the confusion of what we call human life—to reduce it to order but at the same time to give it possibility, scope, even dignity.''
    Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982), U.S. poet. repr. As "Art and Law" in Riders on Earth (1978). "Apologia," Harvard Law Review (Cambridge, June 1972).
  • ''A poem should be equal to:
    Not true.

    For all the history of grief
    An empty doorway and a maple leaf.''
    Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982), U.S. poet. Ars Poetica (l. 17-20). . . New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richard Ellmann, ed. (1976) Oxford ...
  • ''A poem should be palpable and mute
    As a globed fruit,
    Dumb
    As old medallions to the thumb,''
    Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982), U.S. poet. Ars Poetica (l. 1-4). . . New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richard Ellmann, ed. (1976) Oxford Un...
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  • Ahme Ahmed (11/7/2008 10:36:00 AM)

    please i want Archibald MacLeish ars poetica analysis please

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