Marianne Moore

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

The Past is the Present


If external action is effete
and rhyme is outmoded,
I shall revert to you,
Habakkuk, as when in a Bible class
the teacher was speaking of unrhymed verse.
He said - and I think I repeat his exact words -
"Hebrew poetry is prose
with a sort of heightened consciousness." Ecstasy affords
the occasion and expediency determines the form.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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