Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE FISH, by MARIANNE MOORE



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THE FISH, by         Recitation by Author     Poet's Biography
First Line: Wade / through black jade
Last Line: Its youth. The sea grows old in it.
Subject(s): Sea; Ocean


wade
through black jade.
Of the crow-blue mussel shells, one keeps
adjusting the ash heaps;
opening and shutting itself like

an
injured fan.
The barnacles which encrust the side
of the wave, cannot hide
there for the submerged shafts of the

sun
split like spun
glass, move themselves with spotlight swiftness
into the crevices --
in and out, illuminating

the
turquoise sea
of bodies. The water drives a wedge
of iron through the iron edge
of the cliff; whereupon the stars,

pink
rice-grains, ink-
bespattered jellyfish, crabs like green
lilies, and submarine
toadstools, slide each on the other.

All
external
marks of abuse are present on this
defiant edifice --
all the physical features of

ac-
cident -- lack
of cornice, dynamite grooves, burns, and
hatchet strokes, these things stand
out on it; the chasm side is

dead.
Repeated
evidence has proved that it can live
on what can not revive
its youth. The sea grows old in it.






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