Marianne Moore's "Poetry [Original Version]

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Marianne Moore’s poem “Poetry” [original version] is an exquisite piece of work. All the unusual elements that make up the poem including: the meter, rhymes, arrangement on the page and subject of the poem tie together seamlessly to explain Moore’s idea on the art of poetry. The five verse poem functions like a tradition essay; including a thesis, supporting evidence, and a conclusion. Although it can read like an essay the arrangement on the page grabs your attention and helps argue the thesis that she states. I will work through the poem and offer some insight to the message that I think this poem delivers.

First, Moore begins the poem by saying “I, too, dislike it.” What is “it”? Of course, in context “it” refers to poetry. Not only does Moore dislike poetry but she assumes that the reader also dislikes it. I think the next line, “…one discovers in it, after all, a place for the genuine” sets the focus or thesis for the rest of the poem. After previous admittance that she has resentment for poetry she concedes that there might be something about poetry that is worth her time; thus, she continues to further examine the good and the bad about poetry.

Next, Moore describes how hands, eyes and hair are important not because they have a “high-sounding” interpretation but because they are useful. To me, the meaning here is that poetry is not important because of the intricate message that can be coded within it, but simply because it is useful for something. What she means by “useful” or how poetry is useful I don’t understand, but in some sense poetry, to her, is useful like every day items. I think this idea is true to some extent; readers do not appreciate “what they cannot understand” or at least it is true for me.

Then Moore addresses other types of writing. She says that it is not valid “to discriminate against “business documents and school-books”; all these phenomena are important.” Here, I think she is emphasizing that even though...
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