Marianne Moore (on Eternality)

Marianne Moore ( 1887-1972)

AG: Then there’s a poem by Marianne Moore about (James Shirley’s poem) “Only the actions of the just/ Smell sweet, and blossom in the dust”) – Do you know that? Has anybody heard that? It’s from Marianne Moore.  [ [“Beauty is everlasting/and dust is for a time”] –  I think she paraphrased it [paraphrased Shirley]…Where is Marianne Moore in here? …(Page) ten-sixteen? … Yeah, it’s at the very end of the poem, I think  (if it’s got it in here)… [Allen keeps searching for the poem in his anthology] –  No, I guess not, I’ll bring it in, I’ve got a copy of her stuff.. It’s not here.. There is  (It is)  the..  one on the war,  the poem on the war that she wrote on… “ O Iscariot-like crime, I inwardly did nothing” (“I inwardly did nothing/ O Iscariot-like crime’)  [Allen is refering here to “In Distrust of Merits”] – “Beauty is everlasting/and dust is for a time” .  Then she’s got another fantasy on dust, like, the dust image that goes through the.. all of English poetry, goes up into American poetry too – dust/lust – dust/rust – It’s a useful word, you know, if you want to talk about death –  dust, rusty, ending.

[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately seventy-two-and-a-quarter minutes in and concluding at approximately seventy-three-and-a-half minutes in]

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