For the first time anywhere, poet Archibald MacLeish read his newest piece yesterday afternoon before 600 as the highlight of his Morris Gray Fund poetry reading program at the New Lecture Hall.
"I haven't even read this poem to myself," the former librarian of Congress and assistant secretary of State revealed before the meeting. The actual reading of the untitled piece required 25 minutes, and was followed by shorter works.
MacLeish's visit to Cambridge was solely for the reading, presented by the English Department. Previously this season, the Gray Fund presented Stephen Spender in a similar program.
Recalls Harvard Career
Originally a Yale man, MacLeish received his LL.B. here in 1919. "I certainly have spent more time at Harvard since then," he declared at a Warren House tea before the reading.
He recalled that he taught Government here for two years and helped to found the Nieman Foundation for Journalism by serving as its first curator in 1938.
Comparing Harvard's General Education program with Dartmouth's "Great issues" program which he recently keynoted, MacLeish declared he was "very interested and excited" about both. He emphasized that, unlike the Harvard plan, Dartmouth's program consists of a compulsory course which gives all undergraduates a common experience before leaving college.