16 February 2007

Marianne Moore

[from Marianne Moore's "Camellia Sabina"]

    The food of a wild
mouse in some countries is wild parsnip- or sunflower- or
morning-glory-seed, with an occasional
grape. Underneath the vines of the Bolzano
grape of Italy, the Prince of Tails
might stroll. Does yonder mouse with a
    grape in its hand and its child
in its mouth not portray
    the Spanish fleece suspended by the neck? In that well-piled

    larder above your
head, the picture of what you will eat is
looked at from the end of the avenue. The wire cage is
locked, but by bending down and studying the
roof, it is possible to see the
pantomime of Persian thought: the
    gilded, too tight undemure
coat of gems unruined
    by the rain — each small pebble of jade that refused to mature,

    plucked delicately
off. Off jewelry not meant to keep Tom
Thumb, the cavalry cadet, on his Italian upland
meadow-mouse, from looking at the grapes beneath
the interrupted light from them, and
dashing round the concours hippique
    of the tent, in flurry
of eels, scallops, serpents,
    and other shadows from the blue of the green canopy.

No comments:

Post a Comment