Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Clarity of Marianne Moore

Hey, everyone. Another poem by the estimable Marianne Moore:

By Marianne Moore

My father used to say,
"Superior people never make long visits,
have to be shown Longfellow's grave
or the glass flowers at Harvard.

[Poem removed because it’s still in copyright]

Note the clarity. Note how all the high-flown, elevated poetic diction of Coleridge has been scraped away. It might have made sense to write like that in Coleridge's day, when an old man might still remember people who talked like that. But contemporary poets who use words like "o'er" and "enow" are really pushing it.

All best,


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