Archibald Macleish, 1892 - 1982
(5 October 1944)
Born: 7 May 1892, Glencoe, Illinois
Died: 20 April 1982, Boston, Massachusetts
Biography from Wikipedia
Additional quotes from Wikiquote. Wikiquote entries are "sourced" and may include items longer than those included here, particularly for poets, lyricists, and dramatists.
Archibald Macleish quotes:
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- A man who lives, not by what he loves but what he hates, is a sick man. permalink
quoted by Clifton Fadiman in The American Treasury, 1455–1955 (1955)
- A poem should not mean but be. permalink
- 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. permalink
quoted by Charles Poore in "Mr. MacLeish and the Disenchantmentarians" - The New York Times (25 January 1968)
- 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. permalink
"Moonlighting on Yale Field" - Riders on Earth (1978)
- 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. permalink
- For the existence of a library, the fact of its existence, is, in itself and of itself, an assertion — a proposition nailed like Luther's to the door of time. permalink
"The Premise of Meaning" in American Scholar (5 June 1972)
- Freedom is the right to one's dignity as a man. permalink
- How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms, by truth when it is attacked by lies, by faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always, in the final act, by determination and faith. permalink
- 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.
"Return from the Excursion" - Riders on Earth (1978)
- Journalism is concerned with events, poetry with feelings. Journalism is concerned with the look of the world, poetry with the feel of the world. permalink
- Journalism wishes to tell what it is that has happened everywhere as though the same things had happened for every man. Poetry wishes to say what it is like for any man to be himself in the presence of a particular occurrence as though only he were alone there. permalink
- Man is the animal who loves. permalink
- 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. For the American citadel is a man. Not man in general. Not man in the abstract. Not the majority of men. But man. That man. His worth. His uniqueness. permalink
- Poets are literal-minded men who will squeeze a word till it hurts. permalink
"Apologia" in Harvard Law Review (June 1972)
- 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. And their manners were their own business. And so were their politics. And so, but ten times so, were their souls.
"The American Cause" address at Faneuil Hall, Boston, Massachusetts (20 November 1940)
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