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Lines on a Visit of Anne Carroll Moore to Hudson Park Branch
Dazzling poet and critic, letter writer of genius, and Brooklyn Dodgers fanatic, Marianne Moore is also one of The New York Public Library's most distinguished former employees (she worked at the Hudson Park Library in the 1920s). This poem is her sly tribute to the legendary Anne Carroll Moore, NYPL's first head of Children's Services.
Before the shelves at Hudson Park
The brownies who appear at dark
For news of sport and picture screen,
And the good leprechaun in green—
One night assembled hand in hand
The modest number of the band,
Increasing till there was no space
That could accommodate a face
Or hand or pair of brownie feet.
The consternation was complete
Because a rumor gathered weight
That their great friend—a potentate
Among all brownies who could write
And read—would soon be lost to sight,
And all detected as they stood
By their pinocchio of wood
They vowed that each in turn a sentry
Hidden close beside the entry
Should keep watch at the front door
Until Miss Anne Carroll Moore
Should be at the Hudson once more.
Text from: The Poems of Marianne Moore. Edited by Grace Schulman. New York; London: Viking, 2003. Copyright © Marianne Craig Moore, Literary Executor of the Estate of Marianne Moore, 2003. All rights reserved.
Image (above right): Marianne Moore. ["Lines on a Visit of Anne Carroll Moore to Hudson Park Branch"] (March 1921). Autograph manuscript in pencil, signed, n.d. The New York Public Library, Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.