Books: A Poet for the People

Archibald MacLeish: 1892-1982

In 1923, when Archibald MacLeish was 31 and practicing law in Boston (and moonlighting as TIME's first education writer at $10 a week), he abruptly abandoned income and respectability to take his family off to Paris. His passionate determination, he said, was "to write the poems I wanted to write and not the poems I was writing." Last week, when he died at 89 in Boston, MacLeish's 40-odd volumes of poetry, plays and commentary had won official rewards ranging from honorary doctorates (Columbia, Dartmouth, the University of Illinois) to three Pulitzer Prizes (1932, 1953, 1959) to the Presidential Medal...

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