By Bernard A. Drabeck, Helen E. Ellis, Richard Wilbur
"During the final 5 years of his existence MacLeish participated during this sequence of interviews tracing his profession as a poet, Librarian of Congress, statesman, and guy of letters. He speaks candidly of his scholar years, his 'expatriate interval' in Paris, and his next writing and educating. The editor/interviewers have properly requested basically short, perceptive questions, leaving the highlight at the poet. His language is colloquial, and the diversity of his writing adventure, and associates should still end up attention-grabbing to readers."--Library Journal
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Extra resources for Archibald MacLeish: reflections
I had to find out what I needed to find out, nothing less or harder than that. So during my first two years in Paris, I wrote very little. I was working in the bonne's room up in the atticin a cold-water flat on the fourth floor of a building on boulevard Saint-Michel, up opposite the Accordimine with the Luxembourg out in front. And this room had no heat of any kind, had a skylight that had a half-inch leak in it. Paris winters are brutal. And I sat up there. I had the sense not to sit down and wait for something to happen.
He said some interviews might be a good idea and he'd see, maybe in a few months. But he said that if he did agree, he would want to proceed without a subject. "No matter where the interview starts," he added, "it is bound to get to the perennial and perpetual problem of the name and nature of poetry. The relationship between poetry and reality is a problem . . " But, as everyone who has worked with it knows, oral history, which is what we were really talking about, is not as simple as it may seem.
It was much too soon. Well, it was a very dramatic business. We really burned, like Cortés on the beach of Veracruz, every damn ship we had. Mr. Choate wouldn't have hired me as a busboy after that. We just definitely, firmly, and completely did it. And the resolution was pretty grim for a couple of years; in fact, it stayed grim for quite a long period of time. How would you describe your background or education in poetry before you went to Paris? That is a very relevant question, indeed. My poetic education was abysmal.