Friday, February 15, 2008

a valentine from Marianne

Marianne Moore published more often in New Yorker than I would have guessed. Several times in '60. On February 13, we see her poem "St. Valentine," (yes the comma is in the title) and it begins with one of her patent run-ons from the title:
      St. Valentine,

permitted to assist you, let me see...

And the final stanza is this:

Verse--unabashedly bold--is appropriate;
and always it should be as neat
as the most careful writers "8."
Any valentine that is written
Is as the vendange to the vine.
Might verse not best confused itself with fate?

Moore published O to Be a Dragon in '59 and it was reviewed widely in '60. She also wrote a big-splash article for Vogue called "The Plums of Curiosity," a curious piece itself. More on that another time.