Study Guide

Ars Poetica Summary

By Archibald MacLeish

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Ars Poetica Summary

The poem opens with the speaker comparing a poem to a "globed fruit" that's mute and silent. He then goes on to stress the idea of a poem being "wordless as a flight of birds." It should also be motionless in time, leaving all memories of the mind behind. A poem should also avoid so-called truths. It should be without the histories and grief of mankind, but also for it. In addition, it should be "for love" and "two lights above the sea." Above all, a poem should not mean but be.

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