Marriage

Marriage
By Marianne Moore

This institution,
perhaps one should say enterprise
out of respect for which
one says one need not change one’s mind
about a thing one has believed in,
requiring public promises
of one’s intention
to fulfil a private obligation:
I wonder what Adam and Eve
think of it by this time,
this fire-gilt steel
alive with goldenness;
how bright it shows –
“of circular traditions and impostures,
committing many spoils,”
requiring all one’s criminal ingenuity
to avoid!
Psychology which explains everything
explains nothing,
and we are still in doubt.

Read the rest

Happy brides and grooms are streaming out of the Cambridge Town Hall. I think of my own friends, who have never been able to count on health insurance, Thanksgiving invitations, or immigration status for their beloveds. The pictures in the _Boston Globe_ remind me, briefly, of my late teens, when every month the world shook out a new and wonderful upset: a young, bright female president, Trabants streaming west, Mandela freed, condoms sold in the Student Union. It seemed natural then that freedom would keep brimming over.

I want to jump on the Fung Wah bus to Boston to throw rice.

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.