Three Poets" view of the Poem: Macleish, Moore and Ferlinghetti.
Poetry can supply a reader with a unique insight into the mentality of the poet. However, it is a very distinct experience when one can encounter a poets" view on what poetry is for the poet. To learn more about engineering, one should ask an engineer. To learn about the world of psychology, one should ask a psychologist. To gain insight into the world of poetry, one can read a poem. To gain insight into the world of the poem one must ask the poet. In this case, we will examine three poems on the nature of poetry itself. Three poets, Macleish, Moore and Ferlinghetti, each constructed poems about what poetry is to them. .
Archibald Macleish gives a reader a very unique vision of what a poem is in Ars Poetica. Macleish leads the reader to believe that a poem can never be analyzed so to speak, because a poem does not mean anything. Though for Macleish, a good poem is timeless and lasting through the ages. The title, Ars Poetica, is Latin for the "art of poetry". Therein the poem itself becomes a reflexive depiction of poetry itself. The successive lines of what a poem "should be" are all connected to the tangible things of the world that are lasting through time. "Globed fruits", "medallions", and "casement ledges" are listed in succession and happen to be in order of short lasting to long lasting. It is in relation to these lasting images that Macleish connects the reader to the impossibility of the poem. This invokes a practical paradox; for it is impossible of course for a poem to be "wordless" as Macleish says a poem should be. In all the invocations of physical images that Ars Poetica contains, Macleish stresses that what a poem is, has really nothing to do physicality. Instead poetry for Macleish is essentially metaphysical. Further, Macleish seeks to eternalize the poem, for it to be "motionless in time".