My father used to say, "Superior people never make long visits, have to be shown Longfellow's grave or the glass flowers at Harvard. Self-reliant like the cat— that takes its prey to privacy, the mouse's limp tail hanging like a shoelace from its mouth— they sometimes enjoy solitude, and can be robbed of speech by speech which has delighted them. The deepest feeling always shows itself in silence; not in silence, but restraint." Nor was he insincere in saying, "Make my house your inn." Inns are not residences.
This poem is in the public domain.
Born in 1887, Marianne Moore wrote with the freedom characteristic of the other Modernist poets, often incorporating quotes from other sources into the text, yet her use of language was always extraordinarily condensed and precise
Date Published: 1924-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/silence-2