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

Quotations

  • ''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).
    12 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • ''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 University Press.
  • ''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 University Press.
  • ''A poem should not mean
    But be.''
    Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982), U.S. poet. Ars Poetica (l. 23-24). . . New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richard Ellmann, ed. (1976) Oxford University Press.
  • ''As for the nights I warn you the nights are dangerous
    The wind changes at night and the dreams come

    It is very cold
    there are strange stars near Arcturus

    Voices are crying an unknown name in the sky''
    Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982), U.S. poet. Epistle to Be Left in the Earth (l. 28-31). . . Modern American & British Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed., in consultation with Karl Shapiro and Richard Wilbur. (Rev., shorter ed., 1955) Harcourt, Brace and Company.
  • ''It is not in the world of ideas that life is lived. Life is lived for better or worse in life, and to a man in life, his life can be no more absurd than it can be the opposite of absurd, whatever that opposite may be.''
    Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982), U.S. poet. repr. In "Return from the Excursion," Riders on Earth (1978). "Heaven and Earth and the Cage of Form," Rockefeller University Forum (January-February 1968).
  • ''It is the human season on this sterile air
    Do words outcarry breath the sound goes on and on.
    I hear a dead man's cry from autumn long since gone.

    I cry to you beyond upon his bitter air.''
    Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982), U.S. poet. Immortal Autumn (l. 17-20). . . Modern American & British Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed., in consultation with Karl Shapiro and Richard Wilbur. (Rev., shorter ed., 1955) Harcourt, Brace and Company.
  • ''The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.''
    Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982), U.S. poet. "In Praise of Dissent," New York Times (Dec. 16, 1956).

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An Eternity

There is no dusk to be,
There is no dawn that was,
Only there's now, and now,
And the wind in the grass.

Days I remember of
Now in my heart, are now;
Days that I dream will bloom
White the peach bough.

Dying shall never be
Now in the windy grass;
Now under shooken leaves
Death never was.

[Hata Bildir]