A poem on the art of poetry

This is a chunk of a poem I stumbled across while I had The Norton Anthology of Poetry (nearly 2,000 glorious pages) checked out from the library this summer.

A poem should be palpable and mute
As a globed fruit,

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.

-Archibald MacLeish
from "Ars Poetica" (1926)

Isn't that lovely? The awesome rhyme scheme makes me grin. So perfect -- it's the "less" that keeps the last two lines from rhyming. Absolutely wonderful.


hwalk 11/09/2007 9:26 AM  

I studied that poem in my introductory English class in college. It was cool to recognize that.

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