Way-Station

By Archibald MacLeish 1892–1982 Archibald MacLeish
The incoherent rushing of the train   
Dulls like a drugged pain

Numbs
To an ether throbbing of inaudible drums

Unfolds
Hush within hush until the night withholds

Only its darkness.
                            From the deep   
Dark a voice calls like a voice in sleep

Slowly a strange name in a strange tongue.   

Among

The sleeping listeners a sound
As leaves stir faintly on the ground

When snow falls from a windless sky—
A stir    A sigh

Archibald MacLeish, “Way-Station” from Collected Poems 1917-1982. Copyright © 1985 by The Estate of Archibald MacLeish. Reprinted with the permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Source: Collected Poems (1952)

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Poet Archibald MacLeish 1892–1982

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Subjects Winter, Travels & Journeys, Activities, Nature

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Archibald  MacLeish

Biography

A poet, playwright, lawyer, and statesman, Archibald MacLeish's roots were firmly planted in both the new and the old worlds. His father, the son of a poor shopkeeper in Glasgow, Scotland, was born in 1837—the year of Victoria's coronation as Queen of England—and ran away first to London and then, at the age of eighteen, to Chicago. His mother was a Hillard, a family that, as Dialogues of Archibald MacLeish and Mark Van Doren . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Winter, Travels & Journeys, Activities, Nature

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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