Ars Poetica Essay

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The Use of Diction and Imagery in Ars Poetica In various examples of poetry there are several formal elements involved in the full creation of the true meaning of a poem. The author of Ars Poetica vividly utilizes several formal elements of poetry. Using contrasting imagery and diction, Archibald MacLeish illustrates that poetry should do nothing more than exist. Through his implementation of imagery, MacLeish describes the simple existence of poems. Contrasting two opposing ideas, the author introduces the idea that poetry “should be motionless in time” despite his description of a “climbing moon,” signifying the distinct differences between a motionless initiative and a moving object. Additionally, throughout Ars Poetica, the profound usage of simple imagery demonstrates the also simple existence he believes poetry should have. For example, MacLeish implements “the leaning grasses and two lights above the sea” to emphasize the shallow nature of poems. MacLeish also uses the formal element of diction. His word choice emphasizes his point that poetry shouldn’t mean anything more then what it already says. MacLeish fosters synonyms such as “mute” and “dumb” or “silent” and “wordless” to reinforce his simplistic philosophy that poetry should be. Aside from the author’s choice of words, the repetition used in Ars Poetica further highlights various aspects of poetry. Often the speaker wishes to reveal to his reader the impression that poetry should be something felt or “palpable” as he expressed it. Nearing the end of the poem, MacLeish creates a complete view of poetry after saying that “a poem should be equal to: not true” and “a poem should not mean but be”. By stating this, he hopes to convey the simplistic and heart felt manner of poetry. Archibald MacLeish transforms for us the nature of poetry as a whole by using diction, along with

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