Archibald MacLeish quote

"If you commit yourself to the art of poetry, you commit yourself to the task of learning how to see, using words as elements of sight and their sounds as prisms. And to see means to see something worth all the agony of learning how to see."

Archibald MacLeish

Born: May 7, 1892

Die: April 20, 1982

Occupation: Poet

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More quotes of Archibald MacLeish

Archibald MacLeish

See the world as it truly is, small and blue, beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats.

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What is more important in a library than anything else-than everything else-is the fact that it exists.

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Archibald MacLeish

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.

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Archibald MacLeish

Freedom is the right to choose: the right to create for oneself the alternatives of choice. Without the possibility of choice and the exercise of choice a man is not a man but a member, an instrument,...

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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.

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Archibald MacLeish

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...

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Archibald MacLeish

If you commit yourself to the art of poetry, you commit yourself to the task of learning how to see, using words as elements of sight and their sounds as prisms. And to see means to see something worth...

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Archibald MacLeish

They also live Who swerve and vanish in the river.

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Archibald MacLeish

Freedom is the right to one's dignity as a man.

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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...

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Archibald MacLeish

What is wrong is not the great discoveries of science—information is always better than ignorance, no matter what information or what ignorance. What is wrong is the belief behind the information, the...

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Archibald MacLeish

To see the earth as we now see it, small and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the unending night...

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Archibald MacLeish

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.

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Archibald MacLeish

A poem should not mean but be.

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Archibald MacLeish

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.

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Archibald MacLeish

If the poem can be improved by the author's explanations, it never should have been published.

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Archibald MacLeish

There is no dusk to be, There is no dawn that was, Only there's now, and now, And the wind in the grass.

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Archibald MacLeish

Never in all their history have men been able truly to conceive of the world as one: a single sphere, a globe, having the qualities of a globe, a round earth in which all the directions eventually meet,...

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Archibald MacLeish

Man can live his truth, his deepest truth, but cannot speak it.

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Archibald MacLeish

A man who lives, not by what he loves but what he hates, is a sick man.

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Archibald MacLeish

Wildness and silence disappeared from the countryside, sweetness fell from the air, not because anyone wished them to vanish or fall but because throughways had to floor the meadows with cement to carry...

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Archibald MacLeish

Journalism is concerned with events, poetry with feelings. Journalism is concerned with the look of the world, poetry with the feel of the world.

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Archibald MacLeish

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.

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Archibald MacLeish

What happened at Hiroshima was not only that a scientific breakthrough had occurred and that a great part of the population of a city had been burned to death, but that the problem of the relation of the...

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Archibald MacLeish

Man depends on God for all things: God depends on man for one. Without man's love God does not exist as God, only as creator, and love is the one thing no one, not even God himself, can command. It is...

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Archibald MacLeish

The only thing about a man that is a man . . . is his mind. Everything else you can find in a pig or a horse.

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Archibald MacLeish

The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.

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Archibald MacLeish

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...

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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

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Archibald MacLeish

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.

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Archibald MacLeish

Democracy is never a thing done. Democracy is always something that a nation must be doing.

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Archibald MacLeish

We have no choice but to be guilty. God is unthinkable if we are innocent.

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Archibald MacLeish

You burned the city of London in our houses and we felt the flames.

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Archibald MacLeish

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...

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Archibald MacLeish

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.

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Archibald MacLeish

There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience and that is not learning from experience.

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Archibald MacLeish

Spring has many American faces. There are cities where it will come and go in a day and counties where it hangs around and never quite gets there. Summer is drawn blinds in Louisiana, long winds in Wyoming,...

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Archibald MacLeish

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.

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If you commit yourself to the art of poetry, you commit yourself to the task of learning how to see, using words as elements of sight and their sounds as prisms. And to see means to see something worth...

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I am not asking you as a white person to see yourself as an enslaver. I'm asking you as an American to see all of the freedoms that you enjoy and see how they are rooted in things that the country you...

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Edward Weston

The photographer's most important and likewise most difficult task is not learning to manage his camera, or to develop, or to print. It is learning to see photographically — that is, learning to see...

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A stranger can see in an instant something in you that you might spend years learning about yourself. How awful we all are when we look at ourselves under a light, finally seeing our reflections. How little...

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Learning to draw is really a matter of learning to see - to see correctly - and that means a good deal more than merely looking with the eye.

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Twyla Tharp

It takes skill to bring something you've imagined into the world: to use words to create believable lives, to select the colors and textures of paint to represent a haystack at sunset, to combine ingredients...

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Thomas a Kempis

If you want to learn something that will really help you, learn to see yourself as God sees you and not as you see yourself in the distorted mirror of your own self-importance,

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For two extraordinary years I have been working on it - learning to write - but mostly learning how to tell the truth. At first it is quite impossible. You make yourself better than anybody, then worse...

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Joseph Campbell

I think of mythology as the homeland of the muses, the inspirers of art, the inspirers of poetry. To see life as a poem and yourself participating in a poem is what the myth does for you.

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Carlos Castaneda

It is important to do what you don't know how to do. It is important to see your skills as keeping you from learning what is deepest and most mysterious. If you know how to focus, unfocus. If your tendency...

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If you are serious about your religion, if you really wish to commit yourself to the spiritual quest, you must learn how to use psychochemicals. Drugs are the religion of the twenty-first century. Pursuing...

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In mid-life the man wants to see how irresistible he still is to younger women. How they turn their hearts to stone and more or less commit a murder of their marriage I just don't know, but they do.

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You've got to involve yourself in doing something for other people all the time. I know that sounds sentimental, but you see, ordinary people are the most generous people on Earth without question. And...

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As Carol Dweck says, “Effort is one of the things that gives meaning to life. Effort means you care about something, that something is important to you and you are willing to work for it. It would be...

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Let no-one define how you see yourself...save God alone. See yourself through His eyes and His strength, and you'll see who you can be despite being who you are. But see yourself through your own eyes,...

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Robert Kennedy

It is not enough to understand, or to see clearly. The future will be shaped in the arena of human activity, by those willing to commit their minds and their bodies to the task.

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Russell Simmons

It's all about the work. Nothing is going to fall into your lap. If you want to be a lawyer, see yourself as a lawyer, go to the library and start learning the law. If you want to be a rapper, start rapping...

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Barack Obama

In the Muslim world, this notion that somehow everything is the fault of the Israelis lacks balance - because there's two sides to every question. That doesn't mean that sometimes one side has done something...

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Beryl Markham

You can live a lifetime and, at the end of it, know more about other people than you know about yourself. You learn to watch other people, but you never watch yourself because you strive against loneliness....

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Learning to stand in somebody else's shoes, to see through their eyes, that's how peace begins. And it's up to you to make that happen. Empathy is a quality of character that can change the world.

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If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race.

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“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

― Dr. Seuss