Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PEDANTIC LITERALIST, by MARIANNE MOORE

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

PEDANTIC LITERALIST, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: Prince rupert's drop, paper muslin ghost
Last Line: Immutable production.

PRINCE RUPERT'S drop, paper muslin ghost,
White torch—"with power to say unkind
Things with kindness, and the most
Irritating things in the midst of love and
Tears," you invite destruction.

You are like the meditative man
With the perfunctory heart; its
Carved cordiality ran
To and fro at first like an inlaid and royal
Immutable production;

Then afterward "neglected to be
Painful, deluding him with
Loitering formality,"
"Doing its duty as if it did it not,"
Presenting an obstruction

To the motive that it served. What stood
Erect in you has withered. A
Little "palm tree of turned wood"
Informs your once spontaneous core in its
Immutable production.

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