Verse > Anthologies > Alfred Kreymborg, ed. > Others for 1919
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Alfred Kreymborg, ed.  Others for 1919.  1920.
 
The Fish
By Marianne Moore
 
WADE
through black jade.
  Of the crow blue mussel shells, one
    keeps
  adjusting the ash heaps;        5
  opening and shutting itself like
 
an
injured fan.
  The barnacles which encrust the
    side        10
    of the wave, cannot hide
  there; for the submerged shafts of the
 
sun,
split like spun
  glass, move themselves with spotlight swift-        15
    ness
    into the crevices—
  in and out, illuminating
 
the
turquoise sea        20
  of bodies. The water drives a
    wedge
    of iron into the edge
  of the cliff, whereupon the stars
 
pink        25
rice grains, ink
  bespattered jelly-fish, crabs like
    green
    lilies and submarine
  toadstools, slide each on the other.        30
 
All
external
  marks of abuse are present on
    this
    defiant edifice—        35
  all the physical features of
 
ac-
cident—lack
  of cornice, dynamite grooves, burns
    and        40
    hatchet strokes, these things stand
  out on it; the chasm side is
 
dead.
Repeated
  evidence has proved that it can        45
    live
    on what can not revive
  its youth. The sea grows old in it.
 
 
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