MacLeish's "Ars Poetica"
Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982)
Gift of the author (177.3)
On March 14, 1925, poet and former Librarian of Congress (1939-1944)
Archibald MacLeish drafted what became his most famous poem, "Ars
Poetica"--the ultimate expression of American style "art-for-art's-sake."
Written in three units of rhymed double-line stanzas, it makes the
point that a poem is an intimation rather than a full statement,
having no relation to generalities of truth or historical fact.
It ends: "A poem should not mean/but be."