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What is the poem "Marble" by Mina Loy about? / analysis? Greece has thrown white...

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tillyyy | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted February 21, 2012 at 11:19 PM via web

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What is the poem "Marble" by Mina Loy about? / analysis?

Greece has thrown white shadows sown their eyeballs with oblivion A flock of stone Gods perched upon pedestals A populace of athlete lilies of the galleries swoop the facades of space with spiral curves of idol substance in the silence A colonnade Apollo haunts Apollo with the shade of a lost hand Mina Loy, The Lost Lunar Baedeker, ed. by Roger L. Conover (Manchester: Carcanet, 1996), p.93.

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eir | College Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted February 23, 2012 at 4:38 AM (Answer #1)

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Mina Loy, born in 1882, was a part of the first wave of Modernism, that invluded T.S. Elliot, Williams Carlos Williams, and Gertrude Stein. Loy was also a participant in the Futurist movement, which emphasized post-human abstractions, like speed and shift.

Both of these backgrounds are important to understanding the poem.

In some ways this poem is about looking back at the old classical heroes and seeing how dangerously the Pantheon of heroes silences the present, and makes it difficult to change.

Notice, however the fourth stanza, where the action, a “swooping,” is carried out by abstract elements--lines and curves.

There are no living people in this poem, only statues, and “athlete lilies of the galleries.” Even the last stanza seems to involve a conversation between two graven images.

The poem is an early one, and it seems to be asking, but not yet deciding, whether this is a sad or exciting condition.

Can there be exciting actions that take place only between images?

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