Marianne Moore

(November 15, 1887 – February 5, 1972 / Kirkwood, Missouri)

No Swan So Fine


"No water so still as the
dead fountains of Versailles." No swan,
with swart blind look askance
and gondoliering legs, so fine
as the chinz china one with fawn-
brown eyes and toothed gold
collar on to show whose bird it was.

Lodged in the Louis Fifteenth
candelabrum-tree of cockscomb-
tinted buttons, dahlias,
sea-urchins, and everlastings,
it perches on the branching foam
of polished sculptured
flowers--at ease and tall. The king is dead.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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