Verse > Anthologies > Alfred Kreymborg, ed. > Others for 1919
Alfred Kreymborg, ed.  Others for 1919.  1920.
By Marianne Moore
I, TOO, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond all this fiddle.
  Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one discovers that there is in
  it after all, a place for the genuine.
    Hands that can grasp, eyes
    that can dilate, hair that can rise        5
      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 became so derivative as to become unintelligible, the
  same thing may be said for all of us—that we
    do not admire what        10
    we cannot understand. The bat,
      holding on 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 twinkling his skin like a horse that feels a flea, the base-
  ball fan, the statistician—case after case        15
    could be cited did
    one wish it; nor it is valid
      to discriminate against “business documents and
school-books”; all these phenomena are important.
          One must make a distinction        20
  however: when dragged into prominence by half poets,
          the result is not poetry,
  nor till the autocrats among use can be
    “literalists of
    the imagination”—above        25
      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 one hand,
          in defiance of their opinion—        30
    the raw material of poetry in
  all its rawness, and
  that which is on the other hand,
    genuine, then you are interested in poetry.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2020 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit · Free Essays · Cookie Settings