Monday, April 16, 2007

Poetry

Marianne Moore (1967)

I, too, dislike it.
     Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one discovers in
     it, after all, a place for the genuine.



1 comment:

dan1968 said...

her 1935 predecessor:

Poetry

I, too, dislike it: there are things that are more important beyond all this fiddle.
    Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one discovers in
    it after all, a place for the genuine.
        Hands that can grasp, eyes
        that can dilate, hair that can rise
            if it must, these things are important not because a

high-sounding interpretation can be put upon them but because they are
    useful. When they become so derivative as to become unintelligible,
    the same thing may be said for all of us, that we
        do not admire what we cannot understand: the bat
            holding itself upside down or in quest of something to

eat, elephants pushing, a wild horse taking a roll, a tireless wolf under
    a tree, the immovable critic twitching his skin like a horse that feels a flea, the base-
    ball fan, the statistician—
        nor is it valid
            to discriminate against 'business documents and

school-books': all these phenomena are important. One must make a distinction
    however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry.
    nor till the poets among us can be
      'literalists of
        the imagination'—above
            insolence and triviality and can present

for inspection, 'imaginary gardens with real toads in them', shall we have
    it. In the meantime, if you demand on the one hand,
    the raw material of poetry in
        all its rawness and
        that which is on the other hand
            genuine, you are interested in poetry.