Poet: Marianne Moore
Dates: 15 November 1887 – 5 February 1972
Title of Poem: Silence
My father used to say,
“Superior people never make long visits,
have to be shown Longfellow’s grave
nor the glass flowers at Harvard.
Self reliant like the cat —
that takes its prey to privacy,
the mouse’s limp tail hanging like a shoelace from its mouth —
they sometimes enjoy solitude,
and can be robbed of speech
by speech which has delighted them.
The deepest feeling always shows itself in silence;
not in silence, but restraint.”
Nor was he insincere in saying, “`Make my house your inn’.”
Inns are not residences.
Brief Biography: Moore was a Modernist poet. She considered meter and anything else that claimed exclusivity to the title of poetry to be not as important as delighting in language and heartfelt expression.