by Marianne Moore
Analysis: Calling Card
Conversational Quotations, Curious Cultural References
Moore found inspiration for her poems in all sorts of weird places. We can easily imagine her (wearing her cape and George Washington hat, of course) prowling around dusty museums or tirelessly scanning through the local library's magazine collection. Almost anything can be turned into material for a poem, and in "Silence," Moore references well-known literary figures such as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Edmund Burke. But she also quotes from a personal conversation she had with an acquaintance, Ms. A.M. Homans. Even with her slightly obscure cultural references (such as Longfellow's grave or the glass flowers at Harvard), we feel that she somehow encountered them in her everyday life. It's like they might just be interesting things found around her neighborhood.