Silence

Marianne Moore
American
1887 – 1972

 

My father used to say,
“Superior people never make long visits,
have to be shown Longfellow’s grave
nor 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.

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