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Williams, in his portrait, like Moore, utilizes the Renaissance convention of the beauty depicted by her parts:

Your thighs are appletrees 

whose blossoms touch the sky . . . .


               Your knees 

are a southern breeze—or 

a gust of snow . . . .


        Ah yes—below 

the knees, since the tune 

drops that way, it is 

one of those white summer days, 

the tall grass of your ankles 

flickers upon the shore . . . . (35)

In the quixotic last line of the poem—"I said petals from an appletree"—the speaker unequivocally asserts his presence over the parts, for it is he who "says" them (36).


From "Gender in Marianne Moore's Art: Can'ts and Refusals." Sagtrieb. Vol. 6, No. 3