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Best Famous Marianne Moore Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Marianne Moore poems. This is a select list of the best famous Marianne Moore poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Marianne Moore poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Marianne Moore poems.

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by Marianne Moore | |

Rosemary

 Beauty and Beauty's son and rosemary - 
Venus and Love, her son, to speak plainly -
born of the sea supposedly, 
at Christmas each, in company, 
braids a garland of festivity.
Not always rosemary - since the flight to Egypt, blooming indifferently.
With lancelike leaf, green but silver underneath, its flowers - white originally - turned blue.
The herb of memory, imitating the blue robe of Mary, is not too legendary to flower both as symbol and as pungency.
Springing from stones beside the sea, the height of Christ when he was thirty-three, it feeds on dew and to the bee "hath a dumb language"; is in reality a kind of Christmas tree.


by Marianne Moore | |

The Paper Nautilus

 For authorities whose hopes
are shaped by mercenaries?
Writers entrapped by
teatime fame and by
commuters' comforts? Not for these
the paper nautilus
constructs her thin glass shell.
Giving her perishable souvenir of hope, a dull white outside and smooth- edged inner surface glossy as the sea, the watchful maker of it guards it day and night; she scarcely eats until the eggs are hatched.
Buried eight-fold in her eight arms, for she is in a sense a devil- fish, her glass ram'shorn-cradled freight is hid but is not crushed; as Hercules, bitten by a crab loyal to the hydra, was hindered to succeed, the intensively watched eggs coming from the shell free it when they are freed,-- leaving its wasp-nest flaws of white on white, and close- laid Ionic chiton-folds like the lines in the mane of a Parthenon horse, round which the arms had wound themselves as if they knew love is the only fortress strong enough to trust to.


by Marianne Moore | |

The Fish

 wade
through black jade.
Of the crow-blue mussel-shells, one keeps adjusting the ash-heaps; opening and shutting itself like an injured fan.
The barnacles which encrust the side of the wave, cannot hide there for the submerged shafts of the sun, split like spun glass, move themselves with spotlight swiftness into the crevices— in and out, illuminating the turquoise sea of bodies.
The water drives a wedge of iron throught the iron edge of the cliff; whereupon the stars, pink rice-grains, ink- bespattered jelly fish, crabs like green lilies, and submarine toadstools, slide each on the other.
All external marks of abuse are present on this defiant edifice— all the physical features of ac- cident—lack of cornice, dynamite grooves, burns, and hatchet strokes, these things stand out on it; the chasm-side is dead.
Repeated evidence ahs proved that it can live on what can not revive its youth.
The sea grows old in it.


by Marianne Moore | |

Silence

 My father used to say,
"Superior people never make long visits,
have to be shown Longfellow's grave
nor the glass flowers at Harvard.
Self reliant like the cat -- that takes its prey to privacy, the mouse's limp tail hanging like a shoelace from its mouth -- they sometimes enjoy solitude, and can be robbed of speech by speech which has delighted them.
The deepest feeling always shows itself in silence; not in silence, but restraint.
" Nor was he insincere in saying, "Make my house your inn.
" Inns are not residences.


by Marianne Moore | |

Nevertheless

 you've seen a strawberry
that's had a struggle; yet
was, where the fragments met,

a hedgehog or a star-
fish for the multitude
of seeds.
What better food than apple seeds - the fruit within the fruit - locked in like counter-curved twin hazelnuts? Frost that kills the little rubber-plant - leaves of kok-sagyyz-stalks, can't harm the roots; they still grow in frozen ground.
Once where there was a prickley-pear - leaf clinging to a barbed wire, a root shot down to grow in earth two feet below; as carrots from mandrakes or a ram's-horn root some- times.
Victory won't come to me unless I go to it; a grape tendril ties a knot in knots till knotted thirty times - so the bound twig that's under- gone and over-gone, can't stir.
The weak overcomes its menace, the strong over- comes itself.
What is there like fortitude! What sap went through that little thread to make the cherry red!


by Marianne Moore | |

The Past is the Present

 If external action is effete
and rhyme is outmoded,
I shall revert to you,
Habakkuk, as when in a Bible class
the teacher was speaking of unrhymed verse.
He said - and I think I repeat his exact words - "Hebrew poetry is prose with a sort of heightened consciousness.
" Ecstasy affords the occasion and expediency determines the form.


by Marianne Moore | |

To a Steam Roller

 The illustration
is nothing to you without the application.
You lack half wit.
You crush all the particles down into close conformity, and then walk back and forth on them.
Sparkling chips of rock are crushed down to the level of the parent block.
Were not 'impersonal judment in aesthetic matters, a metaphysical impossibility,' you might fairly achieve it.
As for butterflies, I can hardly conceive of one's attending upon you, but to question the congruence of the complement is vain, if it exists.


by Marianne Moore | |

No Swan So Fine

 "No water so still as the
dead fountains of Versailles.
" No swan, with swart blind look askance and gondoliering legs, so fine as the chinz china one with fawn- brown eyes and toothed gold collar on to show whose bird it was.
Lodged in the Louis Fifteenth candelabrum-tree of cockscomb- tinted buttons, dahlias, sea-urchins, and everlastings, it perches on the branching foam of polished sculptured flowers--at ease and tall.
The king is dead.


by Marianne Moore | |

He Made This Screen

 not of silver nor of coral, 
but of weatherbeaten laurel.
Here, he introduced a sea uniform like tapestry; here, a fig-tree; there, a face; there, a dragon circling space -- designating here, a bower; there, a pointed passion-flower.


by Jack Spicer | |

Fifteen False Propositions Against God - Section XIV

 If the diamond ring turns brass
Mama's going to buy you a looking glass
Marianne Moore and Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams
going on a picnic together when they were all students at the
University of Pennsylvania
Now they are all over seventy and the absent baby
Is a mirror sheltering their image.