Treasure Island

Marianne Moore

(November 15, 1887 – February 5, 1972 / Kirkwood, Missouri)

His Shield


The pin-swin or spine-swine
(the edgehog miscalled hedgehog) with all his edges out,
echidna and echinoderm in distressed-
pin-cushion thorn-fur coats, the spiny pig or porcupine,
the rhino with horned snout–
everything is battle-dressed.

Pig-fur won’t do, I’ll wrap
myself in salamander-skin like Presbyter John.
A lizard in the midst of flames, a firebrand
that is life, asbestos-eyed asbestos-eared, with tattooed nap
and permanent pig on
the instep; he can withstand

fire and won’t drown. In his
unconquerable country of unpompous gusto,
gold was so common none considered it; greed
and flattery were unknown. Though rubies large as tennis-
balls conjoined in streams so
that the mountain seemed to bleed,

the inextinguishable
salamander styled himself but presbyter. His shield
was his humility. In Carpasian
linen coat, flanked by his household lion-cubs and sable
retinue, he revealed
a formula safer than

an armorer’s: the power of relinquishing
what one would keep; that is freedom. Become dinosaur-
skulled, quilled or salamander-wooled, more ironshod
and javelin-dressed than a hedgehog battalion of steel, but be
dull. Don’t be envied or
armed with a measuring rod.

Submitted: Thursday, April 15, 2010
Edited: Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (His Shield by Marianne Moore )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Scared to love you, leanne royle
  2. Pain, leanne royle
  3. Human, Foster Teegarden
  4. Frienship, bryan wallace
  5. Holi, Angela Wybrow
  6. A Special Bond, leanne royle
  7. Your Initiative, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  8. To Want With Wishes It More Lived, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  9. Your Kept Best, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  10. ROUND AND ROUND, Peter LeBuhn

Poem of the Day

poet Rupert Brooke

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
...... Read complete »

   

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  4. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  5. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  6. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  7. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  8. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  9. 1914 V: The Soldier, Rupert Brooke
  10. Daffodils, William Wordsworth

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]