Archibald MacLeish, American Poet ( May 7, 1892 - April 20, 1982 )

Search for specific quotes/topics


There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience and that is not learning from experience.~Archibald MacLeish

Learning Experience

The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.~Archibald MacLeish

Life Moments Human

Once you permit those who are convinced of their own superior rightness to censor and silence and suppress those who hold contrary opinions, just at that moment the citadel has been surrendered.~Archibald MacLeish

Silence Moment You

What is more important in a library than anything else - than everything else - is the fact that it exists.~Archibald MacLeish

Important Library Fact

There are those who will say that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind is nothing but a dream. They are right. It is the American Dream.~Archibald MacLeish

Freedom American Dream Man

Conventional wisdom notwithstanding, there is no reason either in football or in poetry why the two should not meet in a man's life if he has the weight and cares about the words.~Archibald MacLeish

Life Wisdom Poetry

A man who lives, not by what he loves but what he hates, is a sick man.~Archibald MacLeish

Man Sick He

It is not in the world of ideas that life is lived. Life is lived for better or worse in life, and to a man in life, his life can be no more absurd than it can be the opposite of absurd, whatever that opposite may be.~Archibald MacLeish

Life May Man

What is freedom? Freedom is the right to choose: the right to create for oneself the alternatives of choice.~Archibald MacLeish

Freedom Choice Choose

Democracy is never a thing done. Democracy is always something that a nation must be doing. What is necessary now is one thing and one thing only that democracy become again democracy in action, not democracy accomplished and piled up in goods and gold.~Archibald MacLeish

Gold Democracy Doing

We have no choice but to be guilty. God is unthinkable if we are innocent.~Archibald MacLeish

God Choice Guilty

To see the earth as it truly is, small and blue in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see riders on the earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold - brothers who know now they are truly brothers.~Archibald MacLeish

Silence Together Small

Spring has many American faces. There are cities where it will come and go in a day and counties where it hangs around and never quite gets there. Summer is drawn blinds in Louisiana, long winds in Wyoming, shade of elms and maples in New England.~Archibald MacLeish

Spring Summer Day

You burned the city of London in our houses and we felt the flames.~Archibald MacLeish

City You London

The business of the law is to make sense of the confusion of what we call human life - to reduce it to order but at the same time to give it possibility, scope, even dignity.~Archibald MacLeish

Life Time Business

Journalism is concerned with events, poetry with feelings. Journalism is concerned with the look of the world, poetry with the feel of the world.~Archibald MacLeish

Poetry World Journalism

Journalism wishes to tell what it is that has happened everywhere as though the same things had happened for every man. Poetry wishes to say what it is like for any man to be himself in the presence of a particular occurrence as though only he were alone there.~Archibald MacLeish

Alone Poetry Man

Freedom is the right to one's dignity as a man.~Archibald MacLeish

Freedom Man Dignity

There are those, I know, who will reply that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind, is nothing but a dream. They are right. It is. It is the American Dream.~Archibald MacLeish

Freedom American Dream Man

We are as great as our belief in human liberty - no greater. And our belief in human liberty is only ours when it is larger than ourselves.~Archibald MacLeish

Great Belief Liberty