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by Marianne Moore

Analysis: Setting

Where It All Goes Down

The speaker doesn't give any clues about where, exactly, we're all supposed to be. There are her father's references to Longfellow's grave and the glass flowers at Harvard, but they only indicate that the father may have lived in, or around, Cambridge, MA. We might imagine, then, that we're sitting in the speaker's living room, visiting her for tea or coffee. It's a quiet but pleasant afternoon, and she offers us cookies while telling us funny stories about her father. We feel warm and comfortable in her floral-patterned, lace-cushioned armchairs, but we also catch the subtle hint in her words: yes, she enjoys having us here, but we probably shouldn't overstay our welcome.

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