Marianne Moore is both an intriguing and a daunting poet to imitate. Her poems, visually and linguistically, dance in complexity and variety, and her subject matter is often both fascinating and impenetrable. Today’s poem is based on “In the Days of Prismatic Colour“, a wonderful meditation on Creation, complexity and simplicity. I offer it tentatively, but happy to have survived the challenge.
At the First Dawn of Brightness (After "In the Days of Prismatic Colour") when seasons and order were only yet imagined, impressions in the Creator's mind, the spirit hovered over waters deep, the plan a temple in His heart, a stool for feet to rest beneath Heaven's radiance; the light of first-dawn being, time and space instantly conceived, and domes there waiting for division, no ribs yet and no apples there for eating; and colour hummed at first acquaintance with the light, its purpose soon to be unveiled: water blue like baby's clothing, Heaven thick, its door ajar, the light from it refracting over domes and oceans and the parting of ideas, and celebrations declared when the lights, large and small, appeared in the sky, marking out our days and giving rhythm, pace and tone, while colour grew in the teeming oceans and over Leviathan on his frolicking back, the texture of water atop the scales of skin and flesh, each according to its various kinds: this was the season declared by the first dawn of brightness, when shade was a new language and nothing was known but the days given order and purpose within every breath of soft life, when our wisdom had not learned to eat its own fruit, and spring was silent punctuation. There colour hovered, potential unrealised but tranquil: a tone, a hand, a promise that when white was spoiled, there would be other words, like red, on hand, and spectrum-bows in place of floods.