“BY DISPOSITION OF ANGELS Messengers much like ourselves? Explain it. Steadfastness the darkness makes explicit? Something heard most clearly when not near it? Above particularities, these unparticularities praise cannot violate. One has seen, in such steadiness never deflected, how by darkness a star is perfected. Star that does not ask me if I see it? Fir that would not wish me to uproot it? Speech that does not ask me if I hear it? Mysteries expound mysteries. Steadier than steady, star dazzling me, live and elate, no need to say, how like some we have known; too like her, too like him, and a-quiver forever. ” ― Marianne Moore, Complete Poems

“TO VICTOR HUGO OF MY CROW PLUTO “Even when the bird is walking we know that it has wings.”—VICTOR HUGO Of: my crow Pluto, the true Plato, azzurronegro green-blue rainbow— Victor Hugo, it is true we know that the crow “has wings,” however pigeon-toe- inturned on grass. We do. (adagio) Vivorosso “corvo,” although con dizionario io parlo Italiano— this pseudo Esperanto which, savio ucello you speak too— my vow and motto (botto e totto) io giuro è questo credo: lucro è peso morto. And so dear crow— gioièllo mio— I have to let you go; a bel bosco generoso, tuttuto vagabondo, serafino uvaceo Sunto, oltremarino verecondo Plato, addio. (((((Impromptu equivalents for esperanto madinusa (made in U.S.A.) for those who might not resent them. azzurro-negro: blue-black vivorosso: lively con dizionario: with dictionary savio ucello: knowing bird botto e totto: vow and motto io giuro: I swear è questo credo: is this credo lucro è peso morto: profit is a dead weight gioièllo mio: my jewel a bel bosco: to lovely woods tuttuto vagabondo: complete gypsy serafino uvaceo: grape-black seraph sunto: in short verecondo: modest))))” ― Marianne Moore, Complete Poems

“TO A GIRAFFE If it is unpermissible, in fact fatal to be personal and undesirable to be literal—detrimental as well if the eye is not innocent-does it mean that one can live only on top leaves that are small reachable only by a beast that is tall?— of which the giraffe is the best example— the unconversational animal. When plagued by the psychological, a creature can be unbearable that could have been irresistible; or to be exact, exceptional since less conversational than some emotionally-tied-in-knots animal. After all consolations of the metaphysical can be profound. In Homer, existence is flawed; transcendence, conditional; “the journey from sin to redemption, perpetual.” ― Marianne Moore, Complete Poems

“ROSEMARY Beauty and Beauty’s son and rosemary— Venus and Love, her son, to speak plainly— born of the sea supposedly, at Christmas each, in company, braids a garland of festivity. Not always rosemary— since the flight to Egypt, blooming differently. With lancelike leaf, green but silver underneath, its flowers—white originally— turned blue. The herb of memory, imitating the blue robe of Mary, is not too legendary to flower both as symbol and as pungency. Springing from stones beside the sea, the height of Christ when thirty-three— it feeds on dew and to the bee “hath a dumb language”; is in reality a kind of Christmas-tree.” ― Marianne Moore, Complete Poems

“In the days of Prismatic Colornot in the days of Adam and Eve, but when Adam was alone; when there was no smoke and color was fine, not with the refinement of early civilization art, but because of its originality; with nothing to modify it but the mist that went up, obliqueness was a variation of the perpendicular, plain to see and to account for: it is no longer that; nor did the blue-red-yellow band of incandescence that was color keep its stripe” ― Marianne Moore, Complete Poems