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Today in 1887, the witty American Modernist poet, Marianne Moore was born. She won a Pulitzer, had one of her books published with an intro written by T. S. Eliot (!), and threw the first pitch for the Yankees 1968 season. She thought poetry was all about creating “imaginary gardens with real toads in them”.
I first discovered her in college, when I stumbled across a poem of hers, whose first lines immediately captured me. The poem was titled, Voracities and Verities Sometimes are Interacting, which in itself is quite remarkable. The opening words were these:
I don’t like diamonds;
the emerald’s “grass-lamp glow” is better;
and unobtrusiveness is dazzling,
Green is my favourite colour, I’m not a huge fan of diamonds, and I love the art of understatement. How in the world did she pack all of that into one sentence, with a three-word description of emeralds that I will never be able to forget?
Thank you, Marianne.