Poetry By Marianne Moore

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Is there a formula to poetry? Can a person fit words into a certain form and create “art?” Some poets seem to think this, which causes distress for others who believe in true poetry and true art. In her poem, “Poetry,” Marianne Moore expresses her disdain for phony poetry that tries to fit into a set mold and suggests that there is better side to poetry, as long as it is raw and genuine. The poem scorns poetry that is too structured or tries to follow a certain style. Moore jumps right into a negative approach with the words “I too, dislike it; there are thing that are important beyond all this fiddle” (Moore 1-2). This early and immediate abuse of poetry, in poem, is ironic, but also startling and catches the reader’s attention. This shows that Moore is already steering clear of the structured, “factory produced” effect that she dislikes in other poetry, as is revealed when she gets to the phrase “beyond all this fiddle.” This is a direct attack on poets who worry about “fiddle” or silly, unimportant things such as how many syllables per line, or rhyme schemes, or emulating the style of well respected poet. She does not believe in these things. She clearly believes that poetry should come from the heart and soul and “fiddle” destroys that. The poem states, “dragged into conscious oddity by half poets, the result is not poetry” (16-17). Poetry where the so called poet is attempting to be derivative of a poet that others admire, rather than expressing own, genuine creativity, is not even really poetry at all and Moore has “perfect contempt” for it (3). This “contempt” also applies to poetry where the spirit of it is destroyed in order fit a certain structure or pattern. This poem has no meter or rhyme scheme. It is purely Moore’s raw, genuine feelings, completely undistorted. Moore does make it clear that she believes that authentic

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