Ars Poetica by Archibald MacLeish


"A poem should not mean / But be" -- I start my tutoring sessions with MacLeish's, Ars Poetica, and I emphasize these last two lines. I tell my students that they are free to use these two lines with me, any time they need to -- if I get too long-winded, or high-minded, they can just recite the lines. I can't tell you how easy it is to proceed with them after that, as we explore great poems together.