J.B.: A Play in Verse by Archibald MacLeish
A poem should be palpable and mute
As a globed fruit,

Dumb
As old medallions to the thumb,

Silent as the sleeve-worn stone
Of casement ledges where the moss has grownβ€”

A poem should be wordless
As the flight of birds.

                

A poem should be motionless in time
As the moon climbs,

Leaving, as the moon releases
Twig by twig the night-entangled trees,

Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves,
Memory by memory the mindβ€”

A poem should be motionless in time
As the moon climbs.

                  


A poem should be equal to:
Not true.

For all the history of grief
An empty doorway and a maple leaf.

For love
The leaning grasses and two lights above the seaβ€”

A poem should not mean
But be.
Book: J.B.: A Play in Verse by Archibald MacLeish
  2.8k
         Anthropos, Mike Adam, Woody, Emily B, --- and 27 others
Please log in to view and add comments on poems