Currently (until 28 April, 2013) at the National Portrait Gallery is an exhibit of video and audio portraits of a selection of American Poets -- browsing on the gallery's website I found here today (and related to the exhibit) a recording Marianne Moore's "Bird-Witted."
Marianne Moore (1887-1972) was one of my first-loves in poetry. Her line in "Poetry" about presenting for inspection "imaginary gardens with real toads in them" became my goal also. And when I discovered that her poems frequently were constructed by counting syllables I began to consider that strategy. These opening stanzas of "The Fish," found in its entirety at poets.org, illustrate Moore's interesting stanza-designs based on syllable-count-patterns.
The Fish by Marianne Moore
3 through black jade.
9 Of the crow-blue mussel-shells, one keeps
6 adjusting the ash-heaps;
8 or 9 opening and shutting itself like
3 injured fan.
9 The barnacles which encrust the side
6 of the wave, cannot hide
8 there for the submerged shafts of the
3 split like spun
9 glass, move themselves with spotlight swiftness
6 into the crevices—
8 in and out, illuminating
. . .
Please go to poets.org for the whole of this poem and for others by Moore. The site poetryfoundation.org also offers a varied selection of her work. Moore's poem "Four Quartz Crystal Clocks" was posted in this blog on 9 September 2010.