28 Total Quotes

Archibald MacLeish Quotes

Journalism is concerned with events, poetry with feelings. Journalism is concerned with the look of the world, poetry with the feel of the world.
Archibald MacLeish
#American Poet #Events

There are those 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.
Archibald MacLeish
#American Poet

To separate journalism and poetry, therefore-history and poetry-to set them up at opposite ends of the world of discourse, is to separate seeing from the feel of seeing, emotion from the acting of emotion, knowledge from the realization of knowledge.
Archibald MacLeish
#History

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 triumphs of modern science to the human purposes of man had been explicitly defined.
Archibald MacLeish
#Nuclear Age

Without guilt / What is a man? An animal, isn't he? / A wolf forgiven at his meat, / A beetle innocent in his copulation.
Archibald MacLeish
#Guilt

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 the automobiles which advancing technology produced. Tropical beaches turned into high-priced slums where thousand-room hotels elbowed each other for glimpses of once-famous surf not because those who loved the beaches wanted them there but because enormous jets could bring a million tourists every year -- and therefore did.
Archibald MacLeish
#Silence #Wilderness

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.
Archibald MacLeish
#American Poet

America is promises to take! America is promises to us to take them.
Archibald MacLeish
#America

The American mood, perhaps even the American character, has changed. There are few manifestations any longer of the old American self-assurance which so irritated Dickens. Instead, there is a sense of frustration so perceptible that even our politicians have attempted to exploit it.
Archibald MacLeish
#America

What is more important in a library than anything else - than everything else - is the fact that it exists.
Archibald MacLeish
#American Poet

Freedom is the right to one's dignity as a man.
Archibald MacLeish
#American Poet

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.
Archibald MacLeish
#American Poet

There are those, I know, who will reply that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind, is nothing but a dream. They are right. It is. It is the American Dream.
Archibald MacLeish
#American Poet

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

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.
Archibald MacLeish
#American Poet

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.
Archibald MacLeish
#American Poet

We have no choice but to be guilty. God is unthinkable if we are innocent.
Archibald MacLeish
#American Poet

You burned the city of London in our houses and we felt the flames.
Archibald MacLeish
#American Poet

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.
Archibald MacLeish
#American Poet

What is freedom? Freedom is the right to choose: the right to create for oneself the alternatives of choice.
Archibald MacLeish
#American Poet

A man who lives, not by what he loves but what he hates, is a sick man.
Archibald MacLeish
#American Poet

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.
Archibald MacLeish
#American Poet

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, shade of elms and maples in New England.
Archibald MacLeish
#American Poet

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.
Archibald MacLeish
#American Poet

To see the earth as it truly is, small and blue in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see riders on the earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold - brothers who know now they are truly brothers.
Archibald MacLeish
#American Poet

Science, that simple saint, cannot be bothered Figuring what anything is for: Enough for her devotions that things are And can be contemplated soon as gathered. She knows how every living thing was fathered, She calculates the climate of each star, She counts the fish at sea, but cannot care Why any one of them exists, fish, fire or feathered. Why should she? Her religion is to tell By rote her rosary of perfect answers. Metaphysics she can leave to man: She never wakes at night in heaven or hell Staring at darkness. In her holy cell There is no darkness ever: the pure candle Burns, the beads drop briskly from her hand. Who dares to offer Her the curled sea shell! She will not touch it!--knows the world she sees Is all the world there is! Her faith is perfect! And still he offers the sea shell . . . What surf Of what far sea upon what unknown ground Troubles forever with that asking sound? What surge is this whose question never ceases?
Archibald MacLeish
#Sea