Archibald MacLeish Quotes

By words, by voices, a lost way— And here above the chimney stack The unknown constellations sway— And by what way shall I go back?
Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982), U.S. poet. L'An Trentiesme de Mon Eage (l. 17-20). . . New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richard Ellmann, ed. (1976) Oxford University Press.
(0) (0)
The roots of the grass strain, Tighten, the earth is rigid, waits—he is waiting— And suddenly, and all at once, the rain!
Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982), U.S. poet. Memorial Rain (l. 37-39). . . Modern American & British Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed., in consultation with Karl Shapiro and Richard Wilbur. (Rev., shorter ed., 1955) Harcourt, Brace and Company.
(0) (0)
Ambassador Puser the ambassador Reminds himself in French, felicitous tongue, What these (young men no longer) lie here for In rows that once, and somewhere else, were young . . .
Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982), U.S. poet. Memorial Rain (l. 1-4). . . Modern American & British Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed., in consultation with Karl Shapiro and Richard Wilbur. (Rev., shorter ed., 1955) Harcourt, Brace and Company.
(0) (0)
Conventional wisdom notwithstanding, there is no reason either in football or in poetry why the two should not meet in a man's life if he has the weight and cares about the words.
Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982), U.S. poet. "Moonlighting on Yale Field," Riders on Earth (1978).
(1) (2)
I will not speak of the famous beauty of dead women: I will say the shape of a leaf lay once on your hair. Till the world ends and the eyes are out and the mouths broken, Look! It is there!
Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982), U.S. poet. "Not Marble nor the Gilded Monuments," (l. 34-38). . . Modern American & British Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed., in consultation with Karl Shapiro and Richard Wilbur. (Rev., shorter ed., 1955) Harcourt, Brace and Company.
(0) (0)
(What is a dead girl but a shadowy ghost Or a dead man's voice but a distant and vain affirmation Like dream words most)
Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982), U.S. poet. "Not Marble nor the Gilded Monuments," (l. 26-28). . . Modern American & British Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed., in consultation with Karl Shapiro and Richard Wilbur. (Rev., shorter ed., 1955) Harcourt, Brace and Company.
(0) (0)
We are as great as our belief in human liberty—no greater. And our belief in human liberty is only ours when it is larger than ourselves.
Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982), U.S. poet. repr. As "The Ghost of Thomas Jefferson" in Riders on Earth (1978). "Now Let Us Address the Main Question: Bicentennial of What?" New York Times (July 3, 1976).
(0) (0)
To see the earth as we now see it, small and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the unending night—brothers who see now they are truly brothers.
Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982), U.S. poet. repr. As "Bubble of Blue Air" in Riders on Earth (1978). "Riders on Earth Together, Brothers in Eternal Cold," New York Times (Dec. 25, 1968). Of the first pictures of the earth from the moon.
(4) (0)
There with vast wings across the canceled skies, There in the sudden blackness the black pall Of nothing, nothing, nothing—nothing at all.
Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982), U.S. poet. The End of the World (l. 12-14). . . New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richard Ellmann, ed. (1976) Oxford University Press.
(2) (0)
The American mood, perhaps even the American character, has changed. There are few manifestations any longer of the old American self-assurance which so irritated Dickens.... Instead, there is a sense of frustration so perceptible that even our politicians ... have attempted to exploit it.
Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982), U.S. poet. repr. In Riders on Earth, as "Return from the Excursion" (1978). "The Great American Frustration," Saturday Review (New York, July 9, 1968).
(1) (0)