Archibald MacLeish Quotes
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Beauty is that Medusa's head which men go armed to seek and sever, and dead will starve and sting forever.
Democracy is never a thing done. Democracy is always something that a nation must be doing.
A man who lives, not by what he loves but what he hates, is a sick man.
There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience and that is not learning from experience.
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.
The only thing about a man that is a man . . . is his mind. Everything else you can find in a pig or a horse.
The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.
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.
A poem should not mean but be.
There is no dusk to be, There is no dawn that was, Only there's now, and now, And the wind in the grass.
See the world as it truly is, small and blue, beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats.
Love becomes the ultimate answer to the ultimate human question.
That peculiar disease of intellectuals, that infatuation with ideas at the expense of experience, that compels experience to conform to bookish expectations.
There are those, I know, 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.
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.
What is more important in a library than anything else-than everything else-is the fact that it exists.
A self-advertising writer is always a self-extinguished writer.
A Poem should be palpable and mute As a globed fruit.
History, like a badly constructed concert hall, has occasional dead spots where the music can't be heard.
Journalism is concerned with events, poetry with feelings. Journalism is concerned with the look of the world, poetry with the feel of the world.
We have no choice but to be guilty. God is unthinkable if we are innocent.
Freedom is the right to one's dignity as a man.
You burned the city of London in our houses and we felt the flames.
Writers . . . write to give reality to experience.
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.
Without guilt / What is a man? An animal, isn't he? / A wolf forgiven at his meat, / A beetle innocent in his copulation.
The perversion of the mind is only possible when those who should be heard in its defence are silent.
The infantile cowardice of our time which demands an external pattern, a nonhuman authority.
Poetry which owes no man anything, owes nevertheless one debt - an image of the world in which men can again believe.
They also live Who swerve and vanish in the river.
The task of man is not to discover new worlds, but to discover his own world in terms of human comprehension and beauty.
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.
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.
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
Man can live his truth, his deepest truth, but cannot speak it.
The American journey has not ended. America is always still to build ... West is a country in the mind, and so eternal.
Poets... are literal-minded men who will squeeze a word till it hurts.
What once was cuddled must learn to kiss The cold wonn's mouth. That's all the mystery.
Young poets are advised by their elders to avoid the practice of journalism as they would wet socks and gin before breakfast.
America is promises to take! America is promises to us to take them.
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.
The roots of the grass strain, Tighten, the earth is rigid, waits-he is waiting- And suddenly, and all at once, the rain!
If the poem can be improved by the author's explanations, it never should have been published.
Piety's hard enough to take among the poor who have to practice it. A rich man's piety stinks. It's insufferable.
The map of America is a map of endlessness, of opening out, of forever and ever. No man's face would make you think of it but his hope might, his courage might.
Around, around the sun we go: The moon goes round the earth. We do not die of death: We die of vertigo.
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.
We have learned the answers, all the answers: it is the question that we do not know.
A world ends when its metaphor has died.
If God is God He is not good, if God is good He is not God; take the even, take the odd.