Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO STATECRAFT EMBALMED, by MARIANNE MOORE



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TO STATECRAFT EMBALMED, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: There is nothing to be said for you. Guard
Last Line: Foe.
Subject(s): Thoth (egyptian God); World War I; First World War


THERE is nothing to be said for you. Guard
Your secret. Conceal it under your hard
Plumage, necromancer.
O
Bird, whose tents were "awnings of Egyptian
Yarn," shall Justice' faint, zigzag inscription—
Leaning like a dancer—
Show
The pulse of its once vivid sovereignty?
You say not, and transmigrating from the
Sarcophagus, you wind
Snow
Silence round us and with moribund talk,
Half limping and half ladified, you stalk
About. Ibis, we find
No
Virtue in you—alive and yet so dumb.
Discreet behavior is not now the sum
Of statesmanlike good sense.
Though
It were the incarnation of dead grace?
As if a death mask ever could replace
Life's faulty excellence!
Slow
To remark the steep, too strict proportion
Of your throne, you'll see the wrenched distortion
Of suicidal dreams
Go
Staggering toward itself and with its bill,
Attack its own identity, until
Foe seems friend and friend seems
Foe.





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