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How Pure a Thing is Joy , by Marianne Moore.

It has been an absurdly busy week, culminating in going to an arranged appointment very early today to find it is scheduled for tomorrow (very early) when I shall be on a train !

Despite this, reading and writing has continued , with books carted to and fro, and snatches of poetry read in a variety of places, including the hospital whilst awaiting some crucial blood tests. It is a good exercise to attempt to read and focus one’s attention wholly on a good book in the midst of a busy hospital where there is much to interest the casual observer. There is much vulnerability in hospitals, there’s a sense of handing over control of one’s precarious notions of robust health to people who can test the tiniest of minutiae in the blood which is fascinating but a bit frightening.

Snatches of poesy and a bitty week make it difficult to write a post on both the attention and concentration needed to engage with poetics. A dropped instrument or the trundle of a trolley-bed carrying a lit, happy (drugged) supine individual tend to throw the thoughts to the four winds. I had thought to enter a brief review of a wonderful memoir from the Paris Review called ‘Pike’  or indeed a poem by Marianne Moore today but have not the required energy to seek out where I stored the notes I made to the works , so I am instead recommending them :

Marianne Moore , Complete Poems . Faber and Faber . 1968.

The Paris Review Spring 2010 Ed. ” The Pike, A Memoir’, Nicolai Lilin, Trans; Johnathan Hunt.

A series of reviews of Moore’s Collected fell from the book this morning whilst reading this excerpt ,

” So he who strongly feels,
behaves. The very bird,
grown taller as he sings, steels
his form straight up. Though he is captive,
his mighty singing
says, satisfaction is a lowly
thing, how pure a thing is joy.
This is mortality,
this is eternity.”

from: What are years? by Marianne Moore. Complete Poems, 1968,
Faber and Faber.