22 December 2006

Marianne Moore's Christmas poem

[from The Poems of Marianne Moore]

To Pierrot Returning to His Orchid

Spider, with the freckles of a clown
      And sumptuous contortions of a gnome,
           How came you by that one bright object in my room
           That you could fitly call your own — upon whose flame you
                                          seemed unconsciously to drift
And like a moth to settle down?
      The forest is your home.

I shall not evict you, spider, no.
      You strayed exotic from the pantomime,
                Your dog-flower carried by the stream to drown yourself,
                Like inland seaweed, in a pond of tough-stemmed lilies:
                                          You are here; apparently
Content to be my guest — Say so.
      It is Christmastime.

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