Silence

Original Text: 
Marianne Moore, Observations (New York: The Dial Press, 1924): 82. PS 3525 O5616 O28 1924 Robarts Library. [Reprint of Poems (London: The Egoist Press, 1921), with some additions]
2"Superior people never make long visits,
4nor the glass flowers at Harvard.
5Self reliant like the cat --
6that takes its prey to privacy,
7the mouse's limp tail hanging like a shoelace from its mouth --
8they sometimes enjoy solitude,
9and can be robbed of speech
10by speech which has delighted them.
11The deepest feeling always shows itself in silence;
12not in silence, but restraint."
14Inns are not residences.

Notes

1] "My father used to say: a remark in conversation; Miss A. M. Homans, Professor Emeritus of Hygiene, Wellesley College. `My father used to say, "superior people never make long visits, then people are not so glad when you've gone." When I am visiting, I like to go about by myself. I never had to be shown Longfellow's grave nor the glass flowers at Harvard.'" [Moore's note, p. 105] Back to Line
3] Longfellow: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, US poet (1807-82). Back to Line
13] "`Make my house your inn': Edmund Burke to a stranger with whom he had fallen into conversation in a bookshop. Life of Burke: James Prior; `"Throw yourself into a coach," said he. "Come down and make my house your inn."'" [Moore's note, p. 105] Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1924
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.
Rhyme: