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Complete summary of Archibald MacLeish’s J. B.. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of J. B. J.B. has ratings and 82 reviews. Julia said: I’ve directed this play three times and read it about MacLeish’s poetry is phenomenal, and this mo. 32 quotes from Archibald MacLeish: ‘A real writer learns from earlier writers the way a boy learns from an apple orchard — by stealing what he has a taste for.

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Goodreads helps you follow your favorite authors. Be the first to learn about new releases! Everything else you can find in a pig or a horse. 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 mind— A poem should be motionless in time As the moon climbs.

A poem should be equal to: For all the history of grief An empty doorway and a maple leaf. For love The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea— A poem should not mean But be. The moon goes round the earth. We do not die of death: We die of vertigo. Freedom is the right to choose: Without the possibility of choice a man is not a man but a member, an instrument, a thing.

God depends on man for one. Without man’s love God does not exist as God, only as creator, and love is the one thing no one, not even God himself, can command.

It is a free gift or it is nothing. And it is most itself, most free, when it is offered in spite of suffering, of injustice, and of death. The justification of the injustice of the universe is not our blind acceptance of God’s inexplicable will, nor our trust in God’s love, his dark and incomprehensible love, for us, but our human love, notwithstanding anything, for him. And to see means to see something worth all the agony of learning how to see. By arms when it is attacked by arms, by truth when it is attacked by lies, by faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma.

Always, in the final act, by determination and faith. A Play in Verse. It is when one first sees the horizon as an end that one first begins to see.

A form of self-edification, infatuation, lust and the epitome of hedonism. We have gone far enough on the road to self-indulgence now to know that. He will land on his ass. Every poet worth reading has, but those really worth reading have understood that to do your thing you have to learn first what your thing is and second how to go about doing it.


J.B.: A Play in Verse by Archibald MacLeish

It is colder now, There are many stars, We are drifting North by the Great Bear, The leaves are falling, The water is stone in the scooped rocks, To southward Red sun grey air: The crows are Slow on their crooked wings, The jays have left us: Long since we passed the flares of Orion.

Each man believes in atchibald heart he will die. Many have written last thoughts and last letters.

None know if our deaths are now or forever: None know if this wandering earth will be found. We lie down and the snow covers our garments. I pray you, You if any open this writing Make in your mouths the words that archibaald our names. I will tell you all we have learned, I will tell you everything: The earth is round, There are springs under the orchards, The loam cuts with a blunt knife, Beware of Elms in thunder, The lights in the sky are stars— We think they do not see, We think also The trees do not know nor the leaves of the grasses hear us: The birds too are ardhibald.

Do not stand at dark in the open windows. We before you have heard this: They are not words at all but the wind rising. Also none among us has seen God.

We have thought often The flaws of sun in the late and driving weather Pointed to one tree arcibald it was not so. As for the nights I kb you the nights are dangerous: The wind changes at night and the dreams come. From what other shore, from what stranger, Whence, was the word to come?

Who was amcleish lesson you? Who do you think will explain? Listeners thousands of years and still no answer— Writers at night to Miss Lonely-Hearts, awkward spellers, Open your rachibald There is only earth and the man! There is only you. There is no one else on the telephone: No one else is on the air to whisper: No one else but you will push the bell.

You have your eyes and what maclleish eyes see, kb. The earth you see is really the earth you are seeing. The sun is truly excellent, truly warm, Women are beautiful as you have seen them— Their breasts believe it like cooing of doves in a portico.


They bear at their breasts tenderness softly. You are well formed. Look at the world—the world you never took! It is really true you may live in the world heedlessly. Why do you wait to read it in a book then? Write to yourselves if you need to! Tell yourselves there is sun and the sun will rise. Tell yourselves the earth has food to feed you. Let the dead men say that men must die! Who better than you can know what death is? How can a bone or a broken body surmise it?

Let the dead shriek with their whispering breath.

J.B.: A Play in Verse

Say the murdered gods may wake But we who work have end of work together. Tell yourselves the earth is yours to take! Waiting for messages out of the dark you were poor. The world was always yours: He called it Report to Greco Kazantzakis thought of himself as a soldier reporting to his commanding officer on a mortal mission—his life. Well, there is only one Report to Greco, but no true book A true book is a report upon the mystery of existence Everything we have in the books on which our libraries are founded—Euclid’s figures, Leonardo’s notes, Newton’s explanations, Cervantes’ myth, Sappho’s broken songs, the vast surge of Homer—everything is a report of one kind or another and the sum of all of them together is our little knowledge of our world and of ourselves.

The existence of a library is, in itself, an assertion. The library, almost alone of the great monuments of civilization, stands taller now than it ever did before. The nation loses its grandeur The university is not always certain what it is. But the library remains: American domestic policies were conducted under a kind of upside-down Russian veto: At Ghent the wind rose.

There was a smell of rain and a heavy drag Of wind in the hedges but not as the wind blows Over fresh water when the waves lag Foaming and the willows huddle and it will rain. What surge is this whose question never ceases? All Quotes Add A Quote. Books by Archibald MacLeish. Collected Poems, 44 ratings. Poetry and Experience 11 ratings.

Collected Poems, 13 ratings. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.