• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Ars Poetica- Archibald MacLeish

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Virginia Credle English 12/Bl. 2 January 6, 2003 Ars Poetica- Archibald MacLeish In the poem "Ars Poetica" by Archibald MacLeish, the poet creates a paradox through the use of metaphor and irony to explain the proper means of creating a poem even though the poem cannot fulfill the very constraints it has set. Archibald MacLeish utilizes the philosophies of imagists in his poem written in 1926 to explain the truths behind poetry. Three principles of imagism are to be brief, be direct, and use free verse. These principles are not used fully, but the reader can understand the connection between "Ars Poetica" and the most basic of imagist poetry. Within the poem, metaphors are used to briefly explain the chief message of the poem even though the metaphors do become contradictory. ...read more.

Middle

MacLeish says that a poem should be motionless as the moon which remains locked in the memory of the onlooker. MacLeish also bestows the advice that "a poem should be wordless/As the flight of birds." The paradox is evident in this statement because the poem contains words which MacLeish says a proper poem should not have. Credle 2 This statement also relates to the irony in the poem. A reader expects a poem to contain words, but to say it should not have words would seem absurd. He also says that a poem should be mute; however, it is said that poetry is meant to be heard not read. Once again, he makes a statement that contradicts the expected explanation of a poem. ...read more.

Conclusion

MacLeish's idea of a poem can only be defined in the metaphysical world. The statements are proposed to the readers to aid them in reaching a Zen-like state. "Ars Poetica" contains both metaphors and irony to explain Archibald MacLeish's idea of poetry which is supposed to be paradoxical. The metaphors help create images of poetry that should be timeless and hold truths that are relevant in any era. MacLeish presents an idea of poetry which is the opposite of the expected concept of poetry. These both aid the contradictions which he presents in his poem. He states some paradoxes, and others are created because his own poem cannot follow the standards he sets. "Ars Poetica" presents an idea of poetry that stems from classical, modern, physical, and metaphysical, and it creates its own paradox. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sylvia Plath section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sylvia Plath essays

  1. Discuss the presentation of death within Plath's poetry, commenting upon how your view compares ...

    However, Janice Markey also says "She is stricken with guilt, as she realises how, between these two vital forces she has tried to deny her own self: 'And I have no face, I have wanted to efface myself'" which I do not agree with.

  2. The three poems I have chosen to compare are 'A Parental Ode To My ...

    The colour of Heidi's hair is really emphasized in the first couple of lines by saying 'when you died your hair blue (or at least, ultramarine...' They didn't need to say 'ultramarine', blue was fair enough to know, but they have exaggerated it.

  1. How does Plath's use of extended metaphors and other literary features effect the reader's ...

    In the poem "Mirror" Plath expresses her feeling of dislike of society or maybe men. Another poem that is written in the same style, as this one is "Funeral" by Emily Dickinson in which depression is described as being like a long draw out funeral.

  2. How do Hughes and Hardy both use memory in their poems?

    Going back to the astrology, he questions in his mind whether if he had known how it would turn out, would he have still done it. He remembers the girlfriend he took with him to the party. He described her as a "loaded crossbow".

  1. In the poem

    Dachau, Auschwitz, and Belsen were German concentration camps, where millions of Jews were executed during World War II. The comparison between Nazi to her father is an expression that Nazi destroyed a culture just like her father's death destroyed her world.

  2. Some poems tell us more about the poet (him or herself), then the actual ...

    This obsessive compulsion is shown clearly in the following quotation: 'The box is locked, it is dangerous. I have to live with it overnight And I can't keep away from it. There are no windows, so I can't see what is in there.

  1. "Discuss the usefulness and limitations of employing metaphors as a means of analysing organisations. ...

    Metaphors are a way of thinking and underlie many aspects of life. They are used as a way of understanding something through the terms of another by demonstrating the similarities between them. If we understand one element of a metaphor we can learn something about the other.

  2. What happens in the story? Superman and Paula Brown's New Snowsuit is a short ...

    The narrator suggests that fantasy is for children only. Man and Superman Superman is a fantasy character. No real human being is much like him. But the narrator wanted to believe that her Uncle Frank was like him. Early in the story she lists Uncle Frank's special abilities: he was

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work