Sunday, January 27, 2019

Dark And Empty Universe?

I came across a useful passage in an article by David Barber:
[Archibald MacLeish was] always an organized worker, [so during his time in Europe,] he established a program of reading to develop poetic style and technique. Perhaps he studied too well, for during the Paris period he wrote several long poems, which sounded much like T S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and other pioneering modernists (The Pot of Earth [1925], Nobodaddy [1926], Einstein [1926, in Streets in the Moon], and The Hamlet of A. MacLeish [1928]). But he also wrote short poems equally notable for lyrical grace and a tone of muted horror at the human experience of spinning on our small planet through the dark and empty universe, as in "You, Andrew Marvell."

This poem and other lyrics - such as "Ars Poetica," "The End of the World," "Eleven," and "'Not Marble Nor the Gilded Monuments'" - have long been the source of MacLeish's poetic reputation.
And here's the reference:
Barber, David. 1999 "Archibald MacLeish's Life and Career." American National Biography. John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds. New York: Oxford University Press.
That'll certainly fit well in my list of references.

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