Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, IN THE DAYS OF PRISMATIC COLOR, by MARIANNE MOORE

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IN THE DAYS OF PRISMATIC COLOR, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Not in the days of adam and eve, but when adam
Last Line: "I shall be there when the wave has gone by."
Subject(s): Truth

not in the days of Adam and Eve but when Adam
was alone; when there was no smoke and color was
fine, not with the fineness of
early civilization art but by virtue
of its originality; with nothing to modify it but the

mist that went up, obliqueness was a varia-
tion 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: it also is one of

those things into which much that is peculiar can be
read; complexity is not a crime but carry
it to the point of murki-
ness and nothing is plain. complexity
moreover, that has been committed to darkness, instead of granting it-

self to be the pestilence that it is, moves all a-
bout as if to bewilder us with the dismal
fallacy that insistence
is the measure of achievement and that all
truth must be dark. Principally throat, sophistication is as it al-

ways has been—at the antipodes from the init-
ial great truths. "Part of it was crawling, part of it
was about to crawl, the rest
was torpid in its lair." In the short legged, fit-
ful advance, the gurgling and all the minutiaæ—we have the classic

multitude of feet. To what purpose! Truth is no Apollo
Belvedere, no formal thing. The wave may go over it if it likes.
Know that it will be there when it says:
"I shall be there when the wave has gone by."

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