Archibald MacLeish Poetry: American Poets Analysis - Essay

Archibald MacLeish Poetry: American Poets Analysis

(Poets and Poetry in America)

Public and private man, humanist, social critic, poet, Archibald MacLeish presents a rare wholeness of vision throughout his long career as a writer. This is not to say that his poetry remains static, that he wrote the same poem over and over again for more than fifty years. Indeed, his focus and style shift at two major points, dividing his corpus roughly into three stages: the 1920’s, the 1930’s, and the postwar period. As Waggoner points out, MacLeish was the first among a very few twentieth century poets who have recognized, grasped, and used in their work the discoveries of post-Newtonian physics. He refused to polarize poetry and science because to do so would be escapism. It is the poet’s role to express the mysteries...

(The entire section is 5125 words.)