Marianne Moore





Polyphonic Craftsman, Coated Like a Zebra,
Fleeing Like the Wild Ass, Mourning Like a Dove,

You are of a candle but the light that is yourself-
   Unseizable as moon and inescapable as sun;
   You are the transcendentalized criterion
       Of forthright action in a stolid universe. 

Dissonance is in the air: you are the orchestra.
   Amusing animal, too bent upon your body's good
   To make the gaping multitude your picnic food-
       I shall not cavil at you for being perverse.