Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THOSE VARIOUS SCALPELS, by MARIANNE MOORE



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THOSE VARIOUS SCALPELS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Those / various sounds consistently indistinct, like intermingled echoes
Last Line: Are more highly specialized than the tissues of destiny itself?
Subject(s): Surgery


Those
various sounds consistently indistinct, like intermingled echoes
struck from thin glasses successively at random -- the
inflection disguised: your hair, the tails of two
fightin-cocks head to head in stone -- like sculptured
scimitars re-
peating the curve of your ears in reverse order: your eyes
flowers of ice

and
snow sown by tearing winds on the cordage of disable
ships: your raised hand
an ambiguous signature: your cheeks, those rosettes
of blood on the stone floors of French chateaux, with
regard to which the guides are so affirmative:
your other hand

a
bundle of lances all alike, partly hid by emeralds from Persia
and the fractional magnificence of Florentine
goldwork -- a collection of half a dozen little objects made fine
with enamel in gray, yellow, and dragon-fly blue, a lemon, a

pear
and three bunches of grapes, tied with silver: your dress, a magnificent square
cathedral tower of uniform
and at the same time diverse appearance -- a species of vertical vineyard rustling in the
storm
of conventional opinion. Are they the weapons or scalpels?
Whetted

to
brilliance by the hard majesty of that sophistication which is su-
perior to opportunity, these things are rich
instruments with which to experiment but surgery is
not tentative. Why dissect destiny with instruments which
are more highly specialized than the tissues of destiny itself?






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