Marianne Moore’s “poetry”
Marianne Moore’s “Poetry” is a critique on our understanding of the process of reading, writing, and analyzing poetry. This analytical poem is indeed ironic as its tittle, “poetry”, is precisely what the work is attempting to unravel. The poem is written in what we know as “free verse” although it does seem to follow an implied structure, that being 8 lines in each of the 5 stanzas. Moore does not make it difficult for the reader in regard to rhythm and does this with an abundant use of punctuation marks like commas and periods, dashes and even semicolons. For example, the pauses and stresses in the first couple lines “I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond/all this fiddle” and throughout the poem, have an apparent location. Written from a first person perspective, this poem seems to be a response to an ongoing conversation about the essence of poetry approached by Moore in an ironic tone “I, too, dislike it” she utters as she begins to approach it with open arms. Poetry that is. She iterates her aversion for “all this fiddle” (line 2) possibly meaning the over analyses and deconstruction of poetry which the tittle itself suggests, but then is able to discover its importance only after having looked at it with “a perfect contempt” not letting what is trivial in poetry dictate what is in the end, genuine. Although, Moore finds an assumed pleasure in what is “genuine” and a “dislike” for technicalities, she does articulate that what is real like “Hands that can grasp, eyes/that can dilate, hair that can rise” (line 6-7) and present on the page, will always have significance because they are “useful” (line 11).
The last stanza is a crucial passage of the poem and is significant in its clarity and closure of a conflicting opinion about the use of “the raw material of poetry in/all its rawness” (Line 37-38) and what is essentially “genuine” in poetry. I enjoy the way Moore uses the