Marianne Moore

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

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.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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