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Rhythm and Rhyme Workshop


Workshop for poetry written in traditional forms.
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Jim Valero Male, 61, Mexico (12/20/2005 7:59:00 PM)

I'd like to share a poem by Archibald MacLeish which I just love, because it expresses what I personally feel about poetry. Though there is very little rhyme, the little there is works just fine for the poet's purpose, which is what the poem itself is about. The poem is called 'Ars Poetica, ' Latin for 'The Art of Poetry.' Hope y'all dig.

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


-Archibald MacLeish

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  • Rookie - 150 Points Poetry Hound (12/20/2005 8:30:00 PM) Post reply
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    Yes, this is perhaps his most famous poem. See the response by Czeslaw Milosz entitled 'Ars Poetica? '

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