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It’s April Fool’s Day, a day fraught with deception and misdirection, so what better time to kick off National Poetry Month? (What cruel irony.) I’ve decided to take part in National Poetry Month this year—and no, this is not a joke—by posting some of my favorite poems ever, one each day, here on the website.

Before we get started, though, it’s Tuesday, so make sure to check out my poem “Dust Jacket” over on 5×500.

Okay, where was I? Right, favorite poems. There isn’t going to be much rhyme or reason to this, just a new poem every day from out there in the greater literary world. Some of these you may have seen before—possibly even from me—but hopefully some will be new for you. I was going to start off with Frost, but the one I was looking at was too depressing, and anyway it seemed like I should begin with something uniquely poetic, something about poetry, to get us in the monthly mood. This isn’t necessarily one of my favorite poems overall, but it’s definitely one of my favorite poems on poetry. Be sure to check back every day for new poems! You might find something you really like!

I could not name you another one of his poems.

‘sup, Archie?

Ars Poetica by Archibald MacLeish

A poem should be palpable and mute
As a globed fruit,

 

Dumb
As old medallions to the thumb,

 

Silent as the sleeve-worn stone
Of casement ledges where the moss has grown—

 

A poem should be wordless
As the flight of birds.

 

                         *

 

A poem should be motionless in time
As the moon climbs,

 

Leaving, as the moon releases
Twig by twig the night-entangled trees,

 

Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves,
Memory by memory the mind—

 

A poem should be motionless in time
As the moon climbs.

 

                         *

 

A poem should be equal to:
Not true.

 

For all the history of grief
An empty doorway and a maple leaf.

 

For love
The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea—

 

A poem should not mean
But be.
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2 thoughts on “National Poetry Month Project with Special Guest: Archibald MacLeish!

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