The Mind Is an Enchanting Thing
by Marianne Moore
Stanza 5 Summary
Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.
It tears off the veil; tears
the temptation, the
mist the heart wears,
- In other words, the mind strips everything down to what it truly is. No hooey, no fluff—just the truth.
- Our speaker now talks about the mind and its relation to the heart, and the mind comes out much stronger, and much clearer. It's not hiding behind a veil.
- In fact, the mind almost takes care of the heart, cleaning up the foggy mist that the heart wears like a jacket or sweater. If the heart wears a mist, it probably can't see very well.
- Our speaker is also sitting pretty comfy in that declarative mode we talked about earlier. Now she's saying what the mind is or does, rather than the comparative mode, where she says what the mind is like.
- The idea here seems to be that the mind can see through what the heart can't. Maybe she's pointing to the fact that the heart is what we associate emotions with, while the mind is all about reasoning and thoughts.
from its eyes—if the heart
has a face; it takes apart
dejection. It's fire in the dove-neck's
- The beginning of line 28 connects to the previous lines about the heart. Our speaker has said that the mind tears the veil from the eyes of the heart. Then she ponders for a moment about whether or not the heart has a face to even hold those eyes in the first place. To which we say, good question.
- Dejection is a sad, depressed state. If the mind takes it apart, as our speaker writes, that doesn't necessarily mean it destroys it, but maybe it tries to make sense of it.
- At the end of line 30 our speaker returns to the dove's neck from lines 21-22. Notice how she doesn't put the "dove" and the "neck" on two different lines this time. It's a bit clearer now what she's talking about.
- So the mind tries to make sense of depression, and we're looking at the dove-neck metaphor once again. Bring on the finale, speaker. We are so ready to find out what that dove neck is all about.