Beauty is that Medusa's head which men go armed to seek and sever, and dead will starve and sting forever.

— Archibald MacLeish

The most massive Archibald MacLeish quotes that are guaranted to improve your brain

Spring has many American faces. There are cities where it will come and go in a day and counties where it hangs around and never quite gets there. Summer is drawn blinds in Louisiana, long winds in Wyoming, shade of elms and maples in New England.

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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.

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Democracy is never a thing done. Democracy is always something that a nation must be doing.

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A man who lives, not by what he loves but what he hates, is a sick man.

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There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience and that is not learning from experience.

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Once you permit those who are convinced of their own superior rightness to censor and silence and suppress those who hold contrary opinions, just at that moment the citadel has been surrendered.

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Journalism is concerned with events, poetry with feelings. Journalism is concerned with the look of the world, poetry with the feel of the world.

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The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.

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As things are now going the peace we make, what peace we seem to be making, will be a peace of oil, a peace of gold, a peace of shipping, a peace in brief.without moral purpose or human interest.

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There is no dusk to be, There is no dawn that was, Only there's now, and now, And the wind in the grass.

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That peculiar disease of intellectuals, that infatuation with ideas at the expense of experience, that compels experience to conform to bookish expectations.

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The business of the law is to make sense of the confusion of what we call human life - to reduce it to order but at the same time to give it possibility, scope, even dignity.

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About Archibald MacLeish

Quotes 76 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Poet
Birthday October 16

A Poem should be palpable and mute As a globed fruit.

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We have no choice but to be guilty. God is unthinkable if we are innocent.

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It is not in the world of ideas that life is lived.

Life is lived for better or worse in life, and to a man in life, his life can be no more absurd than it can be the opposite of absurd, whatever that opposite may be.

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Freedom is the right to one's dignity as a man.

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You burned the city of London in our houses and we felt the flames.

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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.

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What happened at Hiroshima was not only that a scientific breakthrough had occurred and that a great part of the population of a city had been burned to death, but that the problem of the relation of the triumphs of modern science to the human purposes of man had been explicitly defined.

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Without guilt / What is a man? An animal, isn't he? / A wolf forgiven at his meat, / A beetle innocent in his copulation.

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What is more important in a library than anything else -- than everything else -- is the fact that it exists.

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The infantile cowardice of our time which demands an external pattern, a nonhuman authority.

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Keepers of books, keepers of print and paper on the shelves, librarians are keepers also of the records of the human spiritthe records of men's watch upon the world and on themselves.

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What is freedom? Freedom is the right to choose: the right to create for oneself the alternatives of choice.

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They also live Who swerve and vanish in the river.

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The task of man is not to discover new worlds, but to discover his own world in terms of human comprehension and beauty.

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America is promises to take! America is promises to us to take them.

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A real writer learns from earlier writers the way a boy learns from an apple orchard -- by stealing what he has a taste for, and can carry off

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Democracy is never a thing done. Democracy is always something that a nation must be doing. What is necessary now is one thing and one thing only that democracy become again democracy in action, not democracy accomplished and piled up in goods and gold.

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Children know the grace of god better than most of us.

They see the world the way the morning brings it back to them; new and born and fresh and wonderful.

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To see the earth as it truly is, small and blue in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see riders on the earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold - brothers who know now they are truly brothers.

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A poem should be wordless As the flight of birds.

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A self-advertising writer is always a self-extinguished writer.

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A poem should not mean but be.

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History, like a badly constructed concert hall, has occasional dead spots where the music can't be heard.

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If you commit yourself to the art of poetry, you commit yourself to the task of learning how to see, using words as elements of sight and their sounds as prisms. And to see means to see something worth all the agony of learning how to see.

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Man can live his truth, his deepest truth, but cannot speak it.

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Our reliance in this country is on the inquiring, individual human mind.

Our strength is founded there; our resilience, our ability to face an ever-changing future and to master it. We are not frozen into the backward-facing impotence of those societies, fixed in the rigidness of an official dogma, to which the future is the mirror of the past. We are free to make the future for ourselves.

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Around, around the sun we go: The moon goes round the earth.

We do not die of death: We die of vertigo.

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The one man who should never attempt an explanation of a poem is its author.

If the poem can be improved by it's author's explanations it never should have been published, and if the poem cannot be improved by its author's explanations the explanations are scarcely worth reading.

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There are those who will say that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind is nothing but a dream. They are right. It is the American Dream.

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What is more important in a library than anything else - than everything else - is the fact that it exists.

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If the art of poetry is?the art of making sense of the chaos of human experience, it's not a bad thing to see a lot of chaos.

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Young poets are advised by their elders to avoid the practice of journalism as they would wet socks and gin before breakfast.

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What once was cuddled must learn to kiss The cold wonn's mouth. That's all the mystery.

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Races didn't bother the Americans. They were something a lot better than any race. They were a People. They were the first self-constituted, self-declared, self-created People in the history of the world.

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See the world as it truly is, small and blue, beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats.

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Never in all their history have men been able truly to conceive of the world as one: a single sphere, a globe, having the qualities of a globe, a round earth in which all the directions eventually meet, in which there is no center because every point, or none, is center - an equal earth which all men occupy as equals. The airman's earth, if free men make it, will be truly round: a globe in practice, not in theory.

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The American journey has not ended. America is always still to build ... West is a country in the mind, and so eternal.

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