Sunday, March 6, 2022

A Poem for Today: "Reinforcements" by Marianne Moore




Marianne Moore


The vestibule to experience is not to
    Be exalted into epic grandeur. These men are going
To their work with this idea, advancing like a school of fish through

Still water—waiting to change the course or dismiss
    The idea of movement, till forced to. The words of the Greeks
Ring in our ears, but they are vain in comparison with a sight like this.

The pulse of intention does not move so that one
    Can see it, and moral machinery is not labelled, but
The future of time is determined by the power of volition.


This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on March 6, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.




“Reinforcements” appeared in the Egoist V, no. 6 (June–July 1918).



Marianne Craig Moore, born on November 15, 1887, in Kirkwood, Missouri, was a poet, essayist, and editor from the Modernist movement. She was the author of many books, including her Collected Poems (Macmillan, 1951), which won the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and the Bollingen Prize. She died on February 5, 1972.




(June–July 1918)




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