Lists in Marianne Moore’s An Octopus

Nearing the end of what has been a year long project to memorize Mariane Moore’s An Octopus, I’ve become interested in its several lists, and make note of them in this post. I’ve divided the lists into long and short, although, in terms of items listed, they are about equally as long; the lists I am calling “long” do not have more items, but occur over more lines, being more descriptive of the items.

— “indigo, pea-green, blue-green, and turquoise”
— “bears, elks, deer, wolves, goats, and ducks”
— “calcium gems (…) alabaster pillars, topaz, tourmaline crystals (…) amethyst quartz”
— “marble (…) jasper (…) agate”
— “black feet, eyes, nose and horns”
— stone from the moraine (…), another marmot, (…) spotted ponies ”
— “birch-trees, ferns, and lily-pads, avalanche lilies, Indian paint-brushes, bear’s ears and kittentails, and (…) chlorophylless fungi”
— “to eagle-traps and snow-shoes, to alpenstocks and other toys…”
— “Bows, arrows, oars, and paddles, for which trees provide the wood,”
— “guns, nets, seines, traps, and explosives, hired vehicles, gambling and intoxicants”
— “rice, prunes, dates, raisins, hardtack, and tomatoes”

— An octopus […], the fir-trees […], The Rock[…], the larches [….], The Goat’s Mirror *
–The porcupine, The Rat […], Thoughtful Beavers […] Bears [….] The Goat
–Those who have lived in hotels […] The Mountain Guide […] The nine-striped chipmunk […] The Water ouzel […] The white-tailed Ptarmigan […] The Eleven Eagles of the West

(* I find this “list-like”, maybe not quite a list.)

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