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Analysis of the Stylistic Features in “Poetry” by Marianne Moore

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Analysis of the Stylistic Features in ?Poetry? by Marianne Moore ?Poetry?, is one of Marianne Moore?s most famous poems. In it Moore starts out, ?I too, dislike it.? referring to poetry. However, this does not mean that Moore believed in practicing her poetry half-seriously. She simply believed that in order to create great poetry one would enjoy reading the work spiritually and physically. Moore has had several incarnations of the poem ?Poetry?, including one as short as four lines and one as long as thirty-eight lines. The four-line version was so brief that it allowed for a misinterpretation. However, the longer version defines the poem with her famous phrase, ?imaginary garden with real toads in them.? Moore?s poem, ?Poetry?, is a concrete poem in which Moore?s describes how when poetry is to abstract, it becomes ?self-destructive?. This is because the reader has to analyze the poem so much they lose the experience of reading and enjoying it. Her poetry is vivid and gives the reader a sense of experiencing the topic with imagery usage, especially when she describes the animals in ?Poetry?. Her contrast between having a poem being genuine and then another being raw makes the poem dramatic and appealing. The majority of her poem talks about what makes a good poem. This has to do with the poets? imaginary ability when writing a poem. Letting their imagination go but at the same time making it seem realistic. Moore?s state?s her idea in a loose style. The sentences are not choppy or right to the point rather they are long and descriptive. Moore?s stanzas are broken up in the middle of sentences and Moore?s third stanza is part of a sentence that doesn?t end till the following paragraph.

Moore?s poem, ?Poetry?, is very unique because in it she is discussing what makes poetry good and what makes it dull. She says that there is a lot of poetry, but one discovers a physical and spiritual experience with ?eyes that can dilate, hair that can rise?, because it is ?genuine?. Moore believes that physical responses to poetry are ?important?.useful?. She says that poetry mustn?t always be explained in ?Abstract terms of poetic analysis and criticism.? Moore wants poetry to function as a stimulate to the body rather than being difficult and complex that it only is able to connect with the mind. Poetry becomes indecipherable, ?un-/intelligible? when it?s too abstract, since the reader loses interest ?we cannot understand? and ?admire? what that poem has to offer.

A major part in the poem is when Moore says ?imaginary gardens with real toads in them.? This is a very interesting sentence that Moore was considering taking out at first publications. Moore decided to leave it in because she felt it explained the force of imagination necessary for poets to avoid uselessness. Poets, in order to make a good piece, need to be able to create a world in their mind that appears real to the reader at the same time. It is the genuine poems where the poet achieves this reality in their imaginations. The ?raw material of poetry?, is the type of poetry Moore tries to get away from. This kind of poetry does not contain the polished finish to create the illusion of reality. All the ?rawness?, which is emotions, felt everywhere, and with anything, isn?t well presented and causes for the reader to loss interest. The passage about gardens and toads presents the ?double nature? of imagination. It creates the visual image of a garden, but is able to form abstractions with ?real? toads.

In another part of the poem she uses a quote out of the book Ideas of Good and Evil, where the author states ?too literal realist of imagination, as others are of nature.? Moore uses in her poem, ?literalist of the imagination.?, which implies on using the imagination exactly as it appears in the mind of the artist, or poet. The imagination works to help the poet work out his arguments as to what they should interpret as real and what they should leave to the imagination. Moore wanted poetry to make direct connections to the culture and continue to be genuine but at the same time not to resist writing about culture with abstraction of the imaginary.

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