Poem of the day

The Labors of Hercules
by Marianne Moore (1887-1972)

To popularize the mule, its neat exterior
expressing the principle of accommodation reduced to a minimum:
to persuade one of austere taste, proud in the possession of home, and a musician—
that the piano is a free field for etching; that his ‛charming tadpole notes’
belong to the past when one had time to play them:
to persuade those self-wrought Midases of brains
whose fourteen-carat ignorance aspires to rise in value, augurs disappointment,
that one must not borrow a long white beard and tie it on
and threaten with the scythe of time the casually curious:
to teach the bard with too elastic a selectiveness
that one detects creative power by its capacity to conquer one’s detachment,
that while it may have more elasticity than logic;
it flies along in a straight line like electricity,
depopulating areas that boast of their remoteness,
to prove to the high priests of caste
that snobbishness is a stupidity,
the best side out, of age-old toadyism,
kissing the feet of the man above,
kicking the face of the man below;
to teach the patron-saints-to-atheists
that we are sick of the earth,
sick of the pig-sty, wild geese and wild men;
to convince snake-charming controversialists
that one keeps on knowing
‛that the Negro is not brutal,
that the Jew is not greedy,
that the Oriental is not immoral,
That the German is not a Hun.’

Views: 35

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *