image: Bagpiper Joe Dodson stands among the thousands of headstones at the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery as he plays at the burial service for Marine Sgt. David Neil Wimberg, Tuesday, May 31, 2005, in Louisville, Ky. Wimberg was killed last week in Iraq. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)

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image and poem below the fold

A Grave
by Marianne Moore.

Man looking into the sea,
taking the view from those who have as much right
to it as
           you have to it yourself,
it is human nature to stand in the middle of a
but you cannot stand in the middle of this;
the sea has nothing to give but a well excavated
The firs stand in a procession, each with an
emerald turkey-
           foot at the top,
reserved as their contours, saying nothing;
repression, however, is not the most obvious
characteristic of
           the sea;
the sea is a collector, quick to return a
rapacious look.
There are others besides you who have worn that
look —
whose expression is no longer a protest; the fish
no longer
           investigate them
for their bones have not lasted:
men lower nets, unconscious of the fact that they
           desecrating a grave,
and row quickly away — the blades of the oars
moving together like the feet of water-spiders as
if there were
           no such thing as death.
The wrinkles progress among themselves in a
phalanx — beautiful
           under networks of foam,
and fade breathlessly while the sea rustles in
and out of the
the birds swim throught the air at top speed,
emitting cat-calls
           as heretofore —
the tortoise-shell scourges about the feet of the
cliffs, in motion
           beneath them;
and the ocean, under the pulsation of lighthouses
and noise of
advances as usual, looking as if it were not that
ocean in which
           dropped things are bound to sink —
in which if they turn and twist, it is neither
with volition nor

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