Marianne Moore





Poetry

I too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond all this fiddle. 
Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one discovers that 
there

is in

it after all, a place for the genuine.
Hands that can grasp, eyes
that can dilate, hair that can rise
if it must, these things are important not because a

high sounding interpretation can be put upon them but because they are 
useful; when they become so derivative as to become unintelligible/the 
same thing may be said for all of us that we
do not admire what

we cannot understand. The bat,
holding on upside down or in quest of something to

eat, elephants pushing, a wild horse taking a roll, a tireless wolf under
a tree, the immovable critic twinkling his skin like a horse that feels a
flea,

the base
ball fan, the statistician case after 
casecould be cited did
one wish it; nor is it valid
to discriminate against "business documents and

school-books"; all these phenomena are important. 
One must make a distinction however: 
when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not

poetry,

nor till the autocrats among us can be "literalists of
the imagination" above
insolence and triviality and can present

for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have
it. In the meantime, if you demand on one hand, in defiance of their 
opinion the raw material of poetry in
all its rawness and
that which is, on the other hand,
genuine then you are interested in poetry.