‘A Jelly-Fish’ by Marianne Moore

A Jelly-Fish

Marianne Moore

Visible, invisible,
A fluctuating charm,
An amber-colored amethyst
Inhabits it; your arm
Approaches, and
It opens and
It closes;
You have meant
To catch it,
And it shrivels;
You abandon
Your intent—
It opens, and it
Closes and you
Reach for it—
The blue
Surrounding it
Grows cloudy, and
It floats away
From you.

marianne moore
Marianne Moore. (Photo: Library of Congress)

Marianne Moore (1887-1972) was an American Modernist poet who was celebrated for her work’s irony, precision, and wit. A Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, Moore steered away from the English poetic tradition and was known for her carefully constructed language being written in unusual meters.