Comparison of Pablos Nerudas “Ars Poetica” (1933) and Archibald Macleish “Ars Poetica” (1926)

Description Please write an essay in which you compare Archibald MacLeish’s “Ars Poetica” (1926) and Pablo Neruda “Ars Poetica” (1933). The Poetry Foundation defines “ars poetica” as “a poem that explains the ‘art of poetry,’ or a meditation on poetry using the form and techniques of a poem.” In the American literary tradition, a well know example of the form is MacLeish’s “Ars Poetica.” It is not an easy poem, but most readers would probably agree that it is less impenetrable than Neruda’s own “Ars Poetica,” collected in the eminently difficult in Residencia en la tierra and one of the best known ars poeticas in the Latin American tradition. What happens if you read MacLeish’s “Ars Poetica” alongside Neruda’s “Ars Poetica”? Is there anything in MacLeish’s poem that might serve as a key to Neruda’s poem? For example, MacLeish’s poem concludes with the lines: “A poem should not mean / But be.” Is Neruda’s poem an instance of a poem that just “is” rather than “means”? If so, how would you interpret Neruda’s self-reflexive line, “ ¬– or maybe somehow a little less melancholic – ”, in which the speaker appears to express a measure of dissatisfaction with his own diction and perhaps meanings. Equally important, is there anything in Neruda’s text that might serve as a key to MacLeish’s poem? Feel free to craft your own essay by adapting these questions – or raising different ones – in response to your own reading of the poems. Please feel free as well to work with Neruda’s original text in Spanish, “Arte poética.” If you wish, you may choose any other poem by Neruda to confront with MacLeish’s text.

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