Silence

Silence

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.

                   ——Marianne Moore

This has been a favorite of mine since middle school—I guess it reminded me of my father.  It strangely reminds me of my husband, although I wish he would show me Longfellow's grave and the glass flowers at Harvard this summer.  I should very much enjoy the novelty, and we'll be out there anyway. 

I laugh at that term, "superior people".  It sounds like such an archaic notion, something from the early part of this century.  But it's descriptive and sets a tone of reverence, formality, distance.

Anyway, I don't consider myself superior, but I'm very curious about the glass flowers at Harvard, having blown glass at one time.  Historical background on this astonishing creative achievement can be found here

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