'Poetry' by Marianne Moore

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I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond allthis fiddle.Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, onediscovers init after all, a place for the genuine.Hands that can grasp, eyesthat can dilate, hair that can riseif it must, these things are important not because ahigh-sounding interpretation can be put upon them but becausethey areuseful.When they become so derivative as to becomeunintelligible,the same thing may be said for all of us, that wedo not admire whatwe cannot understand: the batholding on upside down or in quest of something toeat, elephants pushing, a wild horse taking a roll, a tireless wolfundera tree, the immovable critic twitching his skin like a horse thatfeels aflea, the base-ball fan, the statistician--nor is it validto discriminate against 'business documents andschool-books'; all these phenomena are important.One mustmake a distinctionhowever: when dragged into prominence by half poets, theresult is not poetry,nor till the poets among us can be'literalists ofthe imagination'--aboveinsolence and triviality and can presentfor inspection, 'imaginary gardens with real toads in them', shallwe haveit.In the meantime, if you demand on the one hand,the raw material of poetry inall its rawness andthat which is on the other handgenuine, you are interested in poetry.

Editor 1 Interpretation

Exciting Interpretation of Marianne Moore's Poetry

When it comes to Marianne Moore's poetry, one can hardly overstate the significance of her contribution to American modernism. Her unique style, characterized by the use of fragmented imagery, precise language, and ironic humor, has earned her a place among the most celebrated poets of the 20th century. In this literary criticism and interpretation, we will delve into the themes, imagery, and poetic devices used in her classic poetry collection.


One of the most striking aspects of Marianne Moore's poetry is her ability to tackle a wide range of themes with equal mastery. Her poems explore subjects as diverse as nature, art, history, philosophy, and morality, often with a witty and satirical tone. At the heart of her work is a deep concern for the human condition and the paradoxes of modern life.

One recurring theme in Moore's poetry is the relationship between art and the natural world. In "Poetry," for example, she celebrates the power of the imagination to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. She writes, "imaginary gardens with real toads in them / shall make of that indifferent concrete / a heavenlier terrain." By juxtaposing the mundane with the fantastic, Moore invites us to see the world in a new light, to question our assumptions, and to appreciate the beauty and complexity of everyday life.

Another important theme in Moore's poetry is the role of language in shaping our perceptions of reality. In "An Octopus," for instance, she uses a sequence of precise and evocative images to describe the creature's "immateriality" and "sub-surface / articulation." By showing us the octopus in a new and unexpected way, she challenges us to reconsider our ideas about what is real and what is not.

Finally, Moore's poetry often addresses the moral and ethical dilemmas of modern life. In "The Fish," for example, she reflects on the conflict between our desire for freedom and the constraints of society. She writes, "It is not freedom / to be without restraint, / but the power to choose what action is right." By highlighting the importance of responsibility and choice, Moore reminds us that we are all accountable for our actions and their consequences.


One of the hallmarks of Moore's poetry is her use of vivid and surprising imagery. She employs a wide variety of images, ranging from the natural world to the man-made, from the abstract to the concrete. Her imagery is characterized by its precision, its sensory detail, and its ability to convey complex ideas in a concise and memorable way.

In "To a Snail," for instance, Moore describes the creature's shell as "a cathedral / that is collapsing." The use of the word "cathedral" suggests both the snail's beauty and its fragility, while the image of collapse hints at the inevitability of decay and change.

Another example of Moore's striking imagery can be found in "The Mind Is an Enchanting Thing." Here, she compares the mind to a "precious privy," emphasizing both its value and its hiddenness. The use of humor and irony in this poem adds to its impact, as we are forced to consider the contradictions and paradoxes of human consciousness.

Poetic Devices

Moore's poetry is also notable for its use of a wide range of poetic devices. These include rhyme, meter, alliteration, assonance, and repetition, among others. Moore uses these devices not only for their aesthetic appeal but also to reinforce the meaning and message of her poems.

One example of this can be found in "Poetry," where Moore employs the device of alliteration to create a sense of momentum and unity. She writes, "nor is it valid / to discriminate against 'business documents and / school-books'; all these phenomena are important." The repetition of the "b" and "d" sounds emphasizes the idea that all forms of language are valuable and worthy of attention.

Another example of Moore's use of poetic devices can be found in "The Fish." Here, she uses a variety of sound effects, including internal rhyme, assonance, and consonance, to create a sense of movement and tension. She writes, "he hung a grunting weight, / battered and venerable / and homely." The repetition of the "g" and "h" sounds emphasizes the fish's struggle and emphasizes the poem's theme of the conflict between freedom and constraint.


In conclusion, Marianne Moore's poetry is a rich and complex body of work that continues to captivate and inspire readers today. Her unique style, characterized by precision, wit, and irony, is a testament to her skill as a poet and her deep understanding of the human condition. Through her exploration of themes such as art, language, and morality, her use of vivid and surprising imagery, and her mastery of poetic devices, Moore has left an indelible mark on American modernism and the world of poetry.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry is a classic poem written by Marianne Moore, one of the most celebrated poets of the 20th century. This poem is a masterpiece of modernist poetry, and it has been widely studied and analyzed by scholars and poetry enthusiasts alike. In this article, we will take a closer look at this poem and explore its themes, structure, and literary devices.

Firstly, let's examine the structure of the poem. Poetry is a free verse poem, which means that it does not follow a strict rhyme or meter. Instead, the poem is structured in a series of stanzas, each with its own unique form and rhythm. The first stanza is made up of three lines, while the second and third stanzas are made up of four lines each. The fourth stanza is the longest, with six lines, and the final stanza has three lines. This irregular structure gives the poem a sense of spontaneity and freedom, which is fitting for a poem about poetry.

Now, let's turn our attention to the themes of the poem. At its core, Poetry is a poem about the power of language and the role of the poet in society. Moore argues that poetry is not just a form of entertainment or decoration, but rather a vital tool for understanding and interpreting the world around us. She writes, "I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond all this fiddle." This line suggests that poetry is often dismissed as frivolous or unnecessary, but Moore believes that it has a deeper purpose.

Throughout the poem, Moore uses a variety of literary devices to convey her message. One of the most striking is her use of imagery. She describes poetry as "imaginary gardens with real toads in them," which is a powerful metaphor for the way that poetry can create a world that is both fantastical and grounded in reality. This image is both playful and profound, and it captures the essence of what makes poetry so unique.

Moore also uses repetition to great effect in this poem. The phrase "I, too, dislike it" appears twice in the poem, and this repetition emphasizes the speaker's ambivalence towards poetry. By acknowledging her own dislike of poetry, Moore is able to connect with readers who may feel the same way. However, she also suggests that there is more to poetry than meets the eye, and that it is worth exploring even if it is not always immediately appealing.

Another important literary device in this poem is the use of allusion. Moore references a number of famous poets and works of literature throughout the poem, including Shakespeare, Milton, and Keats. By doing so, she situates her own work within a long tradition of poetry and suggests that it is part of a larger conversation about the power of language.

Finally, it is worth noting the way that Moore plays with language in this poem. She uses a number of unusual words and phrases, such as "bantam," "parrots," and "the elephant's forehead." These words are unexpected and jarring, but they also add to the sense of playfulness and creativity that runs throughout the poem. Moore is not afraid to experiment with language, and this willingness to take risks is part of what makes her poetry so exciting.

In conclusion, Poetry is a complex and thought-provoking poem that explores the power of language and the role of the poet in society. Through her use of imagery, repetition, allusion, and language play, Moore creates a poem that is both playful and profound. This poem is a testament to the enduring power of poetry, and it continues to inspire and challenge readers to this day.

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