Tuesday, November 20, 2018

"To a Steam Roller" by Marianne Moore


The illustration
is nothing to you without the application.
   You lack half wit. You crush all the particles down
      into close conformity, and then walk back and forth on them.

Sparkling chips of rock
are crushed down to the level of the parent block.
   Were not “impersonal judgment in aesthetic
      matters, a metaphysical impossibility,” you

might fairly achieve
it. As for butterflies, I can hardly conceive
   of one’s attending upon you, but to question
      the congruence of the complement is vain, if it exists.

Source of the text - Marianne Moore, Poems.  London: The Egoist Press, 1921, p. 6.

TJB: Impersonification. Like any good mother or critic, the steamroller crushes unique gravel to identical sand in this arch, half-rhymed ode.


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