|by Marianne Moore|
I went looking for poems about baseball-- because of the Cubs thing, below, and instead, I found this poem. And I read it through to find out why it was listed under "Sports poems." Having read it, I don't think it's a sports poem at all -- does mentioning ' the baseball fan' make it a sports poem?
But, more to the point, I'm not sure, as I re-read it again, that I like the poet or the sentiment. "we do not admire what we cannot understand"? I'm not sure THAT's true. I don't understand how someone figured out how to build a computer, or launch a rocket to the moon, or take x-rays, but I admire all of those accomplishments. I admire the bee for flying even though it's not supposed to be able to do so.
Then, the poet gets snobby at the end, placing demands on what is or isn't poetry.
Also, I wondered about that quote: "imaginary gardens with real toads in them." So I googled it, and it appears that Marianne Moore came up with that line. She was quoting herself. So why the quotes? Now, reading it, I imagine Marianne Moore doing air quotes as she spoke to William Carlos Williams or something.
I am, like Moore, a poetry snob. But I think I'm a cut above her because (a) I don't presume to tell people what poetry has to be about -- I just tell people what good poetry isn't, and (b) I don't use unnecessary quotes.
That is, I don't "use" "unnecessary" "quotes."
It's too late to read my essay "The Best Poem" online -- but you can still read it in book form by getting "Do Pizza Samples Really Exist?", a collection of essays on pop culture, entertainment, and things that really matter -- like why movie monsters need saber teeth to be cool. And, of course, "The Best Poet," my thoughts on what makes a poem good -- and what makes The Best Poem the Best. Click here to buy it for the low low price of whatever it's selling for right now!