I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond
      all this fiddle.
   Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one
      discovers in
   it after all, a place for the genuine.
      Hands that can grasp, eyes
      that can dilate, hair that can rise
         if it must, these things are important not because a
high-sounding interpretation can be put upon them but because
      they are
   useful. When they become so derivative as to become
      unintelligible,
   the same thing may be said for all of us, that we
      do not admire what
      we cannot understand: the bat
         holding on upside down or in quest of something to
eat, elephants pushing, a wild horse taking a roll, a tireless
      wolf under
   a tree, the immovable critic twitching his skin like a horse
      that feels a flea, the base-
   ball fan, the statistician--
      nor is it valid
         to discriminate against "business documents and
school-books"; all these phenomena are important. One must make
      a distinction
   however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the
      result is not poetry,
   nor till the poets among us can be
     "literalists of
      the imagination"--above
         insolence and triviality and can present
for inspection, "imaginary gardens with real toads in them,"
      shall we have
   it. In the meantime, if you demand on the one hand,
   the raw material of poetry in
      all its rawness and
      that which is on the other hand
         genuine, you are interested in poetry.
 
From Others for 1919: An Anthology of the New Verse, edited by Alfred Kreymborg.

Poems by This Author

A Grave by Marianne Moore
Man looking into the sea,
Baseball and Writing by Marianne Moore
Fanaticism? No. Writing is exciting
Diligence Is to Magic as Progress Is to Flight by Marianne Moore
With an elephant to ride uponó
Ennui by Marianne Moore
He often expressed
Feed Me, Also, River God by Marianne Moore
Lest by diminished vitality and abated
He "Digesteth Harde Yron" by Marianne Moore
Although the aepyornis
Silence by Marianne Moore
My father used to say
Sojourn in the Whale by Marianne Moore
Trying to open locked doors with a sword, threading
Spenser's Ireland by Marianne Moore
has not altered;--
The Fish by Marianne Moore
wade / through black jade
The Paper Nautilus by Marianne Moore
For authorities whose hopes
To a Steam Roller by Marianne Moore
The illustration
When I Buy Pictures by Marianne Moore
or what is closer to the truth
You Are Fire Eaters by Marianne Moore
Not a mere blowing flame


Further Reading

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