English Usage


"English Usage" is the first song of Two by Marianne Moore.

The text of the song comes from the following poem by Marianne Moore:

Dear Ezra, who knows what cadence is.

I've been thinking--mean, cogitating:

Make a fuss
and be tedious.

I'm annoyed?
Yes; am. I avoid

and "bore";

am, I
say, by

the word
(bore) bored.

I refuse
to use

to mean


"terrific color"
for some horror.

Though flat
myself, I'd say that

(pressed glass)

looks best

I refuse
to use


even "fright-
ful plight"
(however justified)

or "frivol-
ous fool"
(however suitable).

I've escaped?
am still trapped

by these
word diseases.

No pauses,
the phrases

lack lyric
sound caprick-like

Attic Afric

or freak
calico Greek.

(Not verse
of course)

I'm sure of this:

Nothing mundane is divine;
Nothing divine is mundane.

Audio PLaylist