Archibald MacLeish

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

Baccalaureate


A year or two, and grey Euripides,
And Horace and a Lydia or so,
And Euclid and the brush of Angelo,
Darwin on man, Vergilius on bees,
The nose and Dialogues of Socrates,
Don Quixote, Hudibras and Trinculo,
How worlds are spawned and where the dead gods go,--
All shall be shard of broken memories.

And there shall linger other, magic things,--
The fog that creeps in wanly from the sea,
The rotton harbor smell, the mystery
Of moonlit elms, the flash of pigeon wings,
The sunny Green, the old-world peace that clings
About the college yard, where endlessly
The dead go up and down. These things shall be
Enchantment of our heart's rememberings.

And these are more than memories of youth
Which earth's four winds of pain shall blow away;
These are earth's symbols of eternal truth,
Symbols of dream and imagery and flame,
Symbols of those same verities that play
Bright through the crumbling gold of a great name.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Do you like this poem?
1 person liked.
1 person did not like.

Form:


Read poems about / on: fog, magic, truth, peace, green, dream, pain, sea, world, heart, memory, wind

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Baccalaureate by Archibald MacLeish )

  • Freshman - 1,849 Points Kevin Patrick (6/25/2013 12:29:00 PM)

    I think its about the writers memories of himself when he was learning of the masters, and his embracing them and there work while realizing there words are simply a fragment of their identities lost to the elements. Although these men are dead their work and they themselves live within the language and the culture they have expanded for human understanding. Becoming the symbols of eternal truth and great name

    Or just read it yourself and come to your own understanding. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Jeff Thornton (11/4/2004 3:20:00 PM)

    brilliant. moving and so complex in content and rhyme.

    man- i hafta read his whole body! a hack like me could learn a toy or two- (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
Trending Poets
Trending Poems
  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  5. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  7. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  8. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  9. If, Rudyard Kipling
  10. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
[Hata Bildir]