Study Guide

The Mind Is an Enchanting Thing Speaker

By Marianne Moore

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This speaker, whoever he or she is, is an entomologist-ornithologist-psychologist-magician.

Or something like that.

Seriously, this speaker really knows her stuff, and she's clearly quite the observant poet. Down to the finest detail, she observes a katydid-wing, the haired feathers of a kiwi bird, and an iridescent fire of sun shining on a dove-neck.

She's also a bit of a riddler. If you're looking for an exact definition of the mind, you might want to look elsewhere. Because in this poem, she's going to tell us what the mind is like, and what it's not, but she's not going to settle for a singular definition. Oh no. She's having far too much fun.

And when you think about it, that's actually quite wise of her. After all, the mind is complex. It doesn't want to be defined. It's too busy changing all the time—making mistakes, defying logic, learning new things, and becoming something else entirely.

In the end, that's what our speaker is trying to get us to see. She's concerned with the many facets of the mind, not just what it is.

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