not in silence, but restraint."—Marianne Moore, “Silence”
American modernist poet Marianne Moore was born on this date in 1887 near St. Louis, Mo. The lines above are typical of much of her work, in that the line break can feel disorienting. This particular poem is a kind of “envelope poem,” in which the narrator disappears, to be followed by the voice of her father, then back to the narrator. The interplay between the two—a form of “silence,” in and of itself—suggests volumes, even in its “restraint,” on their relationship. Unfortunately, the “deepest feeling” between them might very well not be love.