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Poetry (by Moore)

Poetry (by Moore)


by Marianne Moore

Poetry (by Moore) Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Welcome to the land of symbols, imagery, and wordplay. Before you travel any further, please know that there may be some thorny academic terminology ahead. Never fear, Shmoop is here. Check out our...

Form and Meter

Officially, this version of "Poetry" is written in free verse: it has no regular meter or rhyme scheme. The first line contains five syllables, the second 19, and the last eleven. We have to wonder...


You have to admire the boldness of our speaker. Right off the bat, in the very first line, the speaker announces with no hesitation or apology that she dislikes poetry…in a poem entitled "Poe...


The only "place" mentioned in "Poetry" is poetry itself, which the speaker calls "a place for the genuine." Several literary scholars have questioned why Moore refers to poetry as a place, and you...

Sound Check

While the poem reads like a casual snippet of conversation we might overhear at school, in the library, or at a café, the words also have a strong rhythmic quality that helps make them poetic....

What's Up With the Title?

This is a poem about poetry, so the title seems pretty self-explanatory. But we have to ask: Is this going to be a poem describing what poetry is, or what it should be? In other words, will Moore o...

Calling Card

Living up to its title, "Poetry" is a condensed, in-a-nutshell expression of Moore's broader poetic style. Moore begins her Complete Poems with the note, "Omissions are not accidents," and she real...


This poem is as tough as you want to make it. If you take the three-line poem at face value, it doesn't seem so difficult: the language is clear and straightforward, the tone is conversational, and...

Brain Snacks

Sex Rating

Despite its many merits, "Poetry" might just be one of the most sexless poems in the history of American literature.

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