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Ars Poetica
Ars Poetica
by Archibald MacLeish

Ars Poetica Art and Culture Quotes Page 2

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Quote #4

A poem should be equal to:
Not true. (17-18)

Everyone got that? Take out your graphing paper and slide rules, and make a note. Poetry does not equal truth, in the capital T, only-one-reality sense of the word "truth." Poetry is not supposed to describe reality, it's supposed to evoke it and inspire our own individualized reflections (truths, plural, and with a lower-case "t").

Quote #5

A poem should not mean
But be. (23-24)

Words to live by, all you budding young poets. Don't torture your reader with your "insights"; inspire them with your sense of the world around you.

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