Before there was Devore, there was Moore





Flipping around old books of rhyme, I ran across Marianne Moore’s anticipation of bloggers and instant punditry:

To a Steam Roller

The illustration
is nothing to you without the application.
You lack half wit. You crush all the particles down
into close conformity, and then walk back and forth on them.

Sparkling chips of rock
are crushed down to the level of the parent block.
Were not ‘impersonal judment in aesthetic
matters, a metaphysical impossibility,’ you

might fairly achieve
it. As for butterflies, I can hardly conceive
of one’s attending upon you, but to question
the congruence of the complement is vain, if it exists.

I was sent to the stacks – okay, piles – by a report that two tons of pangolin scales were recently seized in Hai Phong, representing some tiny fraction of the illegal but completely unprosecuted trade in pangolins, and a search for one of Moore’s really good poems, The Pangolin“this near artichoke”.

It is hard to say with Moore what sets off the chains, the outrageous exalted ringing of the changes like that in The Pangolin. There is a good chance it was just the sound of the syllables. That’s plenty.


3 Responses to “Before there was Devore, there was Moore”

  1. sisdevore Says:

    You made my day. de-vore is de-pressed. boss-hating mostly.

    Are you anywhere near that gigantic hill collapse in the Nile Valley?

    • artemis54 Says:

      Downstream quite a ways. I have a friend who works up in that area – need to get a hold and see if she took any pics.

  2. artemis54 Says:

    The Republic of Ireland bans all GM crops

    In the Agriculture and Food section of the Renewed Programme for Government, Fianna Faíl and the Green Party have agreed to:

    • Declare the Republic of Ireland a GM-Free Zone, free from the cultivation of all GM plants.

    • To optimise Ireland’s competitive advantage as a GM-Free country, we will introduce a voluntary GM-Free logo for use in all relevant product labelling and advertising, similar to a scheme recently introduced in Germany.

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