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Collected Poems 1917 to 1982 Paperback – December 9, 1985


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (December 9, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395395690
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395395691
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,387,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Archibald MacLeish was born in Glencoe, Illinois in 1892. He attended Yale University and served in World War I. Later, he went to Harvard Law School and practiced law in Boston for a few years until he gave it up and moved to Paris with his wife and children to devote all his time to writing poetry. He returned to the United States to research the Spanish conquest of Mexico, and the result, CONQUISTADOR (1932), won him a Pulitzer Prize. From 1920-1939, he was a member of the editorial board of FORTUNE magazine and he served as Librarian of Congress from 1929 to 1944. MacLeish's COLLECTED POEMS (1952) won a Pulitzer Prize and his poetic drama, J.B. based on the Book of Job, was a Broadway success in 1957.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
I say, Bring him back! because MacLeish has pretty well dropped from sight, except for 'Ars Poetica' and 'You, Andrew Marvell.' And it's true that one has to mine this hefty volume pretty carefully for the real treasure. Except for Conquistador (MacLeish's 1932 Pulitzer Prize-winning epic--really, it's a sort of epic lyric--of the Spanish conquest of Mexico), MacLeish's long poems hold very little aesthetic interest, and even Conquistador is marred by its indebtedness to the Ezra Pound of the early Cantos. But at his lyric best, MacLeish is incomparable: 'Eleven,' 'Memorial Rain,' ''Not Marble Nor the Gilded Monuments,'' 'Immortal Autumn,' 'Epistle To Be Left in the Earth,' 'Cook County,' 'Winter Is Another Country,' 'Calypso's Island,' 'What Riddle Asked the Sphinx,' 'The Reef Fisher,' 'The Infinite Reason,' 'Dr. Sigmund Freud Discovers the Sea Shell,' 'Captivity of the Fly,' 'Companions,' 'Mark's Sheep,' 'Rainbow at Evening,' and a generous handful of others drawn from every stage of a very long career. What is more, I cannot understand, in this age of the socially conscious anthology, why the editors of the Heath Anthology of American Literature haven't rediscovered the MacLeish of Frescoes for Mr. Rockefeller's City (especially 'Empire Builders'), 'Lines for Interment,' the often misunderstood 'Invocation to the Social Muse' (a satire whose irony turns back on its speaker), 'Speech to Those Who Say Comrade,' and 'Brave New World' (which is especially relevant today, thanks to the so-called Patriot Act). MacLeish was THE poet of the Lost Generation and later the very first 'Fellow Traveler'--literally! His public and private voices merit hearing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By G. Mosley on January 10, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Archibald MacLeish's biography is the sort that every other poet of the 20th century could have envied. He not only had his Harvard Law training, but he turned his back on that to devote himself to the arts. He worked for F.D.R., got opposed by the Republicans as a "red," when he had been writing anti-Marxist (or what we would now call "defining the New Left" anti-authoritarian) pieces for years, and was one of the greatest of all the Librarians of Congress. He was instrumental in getting Ezra Pound freed from St. Elizabeth's after his confinement after the war.

For all that, people read a few poems, out of context. Students may hit "Ars Poetica" and get it mishandled, and, if they are very lucky, a piece or two from his work in the 1920's. For being one of the most powerful FORCES in poetry of the 20th century, consistently listed as one of the major poets, he seems to be little considered because he was not as much of a formal innovator as his contemporaries, and he did not get in as much trouble as they. If MacLeish's rhythms and forms are not as overtly outlandish as Pound's or mesmeric as Eliot's, and if he was a very humble man who avoided the theatricality of Frost, it only obscures a stunningly American voice -- perhaps, with Conrad Aiken, the most authentically American voice.

MacLeish combined an inability to ignore the American landscape with an inability to ignore the promise of imagination, and he would never leave the promise of the American wild when it was combined with the idealism of the heroic imagination. That small picture -- the boy in the shockingly beautiful vista fired by Homer or Twain -- is the great, evanescent American of the 20th century, and MacLeish's collected poems show that character -- optimistic even when grim -- trekking through history as place and ideas.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eric Hull on June 4, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Archibald MacLeish is one of the only poets whose rhyming poetry I like to read. The craftsmanship of each poem is masterful and compelling. Most people only know Mr. MacLeish from his poem Ars Poetica; there are greater depths for poetry lovers to explore in this book.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alexandra Edgeworth on August 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great condition and quality. Perfect for my collection of poetry and a unique voice that isn't often acknowledged. Came within said time frame and contains extra biographical information.
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